DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Patterns of association is basically the observation

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Patterns of association is basically the observation of who interacts with whom and in what ways. Typically in Western society, people interact with people of the same class in an informal, friendly manner. Likewise, people interact with people of a differential class in a more awkward and thus, more structured, socially prescribed way. For example, the interactions between a corporate executive and a janitor in the same building. Most cultures have some kind of non-kin based systems in addition to kin groups, usually called institutions or network of agreements. Membership by Age is a linguistic term to classify people according to Age or position in life cycle. Most cultures have this feature. E.g. teenagers, Generation X, Senior citizens. It represents a stage recognized by culture and implies clear roles with rights and obligations. People pass from one grade to another via important rituals like Rites of Passage. Status is a set of rights and obligations that are inherent in social position. On the other hand, a contract is a set of rights and obligations assumed voluntarily by parties to the agreement or a principle for creating a bond between two or more roles, with overtly stated obligations and rights. A Free Contract involves a casual-minimal relationship, often short term in nature. This is in contrast to a Social Contract--a public contract where people agree to band together for some purpose-- often highly structured. The state is a formal organization of roles in which legal and military authority is vested and in which authority is considered by its members to be its primary function. The state is a special group charged with allocating authority to use physical force to achieve peace and conformance with law and custom and to maintain territorial integrity against external threats. To understand politics , one must be aware of the territorial extent and organization of the society and how space is divided in terms of allocation of force. Also essential is knowledge of the social system through which force is allocated to and by different individuals playing different roles and how that system is viewed by those living in it. A social class is a category of individuals who enjoy equal or nearly equal prestige according to the evaluation system.
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Perception of class is relative, i.e, the distinctions are not clear-cut. People within a particular class—the rich, e.g.— will themselves consider some people within their class and others not within it, while people outside the rich may consider a different set as belonging. Class designation does not always refer to economic factors like brand of car. People may be considered high or low class in terms of taste, for example (preferring opera is considered high class in Western society, while preferring country music is considered low class).
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