Conflict Theories In contrast, conflict theories see stratification as driven by resource competition, with elites establishing themselves whenever ecological and socioeconomic conditions permit: Since resource competition of some form is ubiquitous, convincing conflict theories must explain why competition leads to stratification in some instances and not in others One influential argument (Carneiro, Boone) proposes a combination of 1) economies of scale and 2) environmental circumscription Economy of scale refers to situations where per-capita economic efficiency is greater at larger scales (number of people cooperating, area under production, size of factory, etc.); for example, using a few large ships to carry out trade between islands, rather than many small ships Circumscription refers to environmental or economic heterogeneity that imposes very high costs for leaving an area (for example, a river floodplain with rich, well-watered soil surrounded by desert) Given severe circumscription (or really any situation of extreme environmental
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.