DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Political organization most mobile foragers organize

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Political Organization Most mobile foragers organize their social and political lives around the nuclear family. The small groups that are created when a few nuclear families come together are called bands. Eskimo society is used as an example of a foraging society. Bands are small, kin-based groups found among foragers. Band-organized societies don't permit people to accumulate wealth, they prize generosity, and they generally recognize that all members of the band have access to all of the strategic resources of the band. Tribes are associated with non-intensive food production and have villages and/or descent groups, but no formal government or social classes. In bands and tribes, the political order (polity) is not a distinct institution, but is embedded in the overall social order. The individual groups that form a tribe are not necessarily composed of people related to one another. But people throughout the various bands that form the tribe are related to one another through clans. The dispersal of clans throughout the tribal system is a way to unify the entire tribe--it is a sublevel of tribal organization Chiefdoms are intermediate between tribes and states, are kin-based, but have permanent, group-based differences in access to strategic resources, and exist with a permanent political structure. Chiefdoms are a transitional form of sociopolitical organization in the evolution of tribes into states. States have permanent formal government structures and socioeconomic stratification. They are autonomous (self-governing, independent) political units with social classes and a formal government based on law, social status, population control, judiciary, enforcement and fiscal interests. Most people in the world today live in a state-organized society. Stratification means that people are not necessarily equal socially and economically, but can be arranged into different social classes. Bands tribes , chiefdoms and states are all examples of political organizations. In many societies the community (band or village) is the largest territorial group in which political activities are organized. Yanomamo women are treated as materialistic objects and promised by their father or brother to a Yanomamo man in return for reciprocity. The reciprocity could be another Yanomamo woman or a political alliance. Another method of forming political alliances is feasting. This is when one village invites village for a ceremonial dinner. During the feast there is a lot social activity. The Yanomamo dance and mingle with each other along with eating a different variety of foods. The only catch is the other village must reciprocate a feast by one village. This feast is more like an American dinner party in which members of family or social group invite others to attend. A feast however can be dangerous and or fatal for those who attend. The Yanomamo can be very conniving and deceiving .
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