DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

This is in contrast to a social contract a public

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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). Typically, class differentiation depends upon a variety of interacting factors (economics, social status, aesthetic preferences, behavior, occupation, appearance, civic involvement) Caste systems, being endogamous, are much more clear-cut. India is the most famous example. Caste is a special form of social class in which membership is determined by birth and remains fixed for life. Literally thousands of castes exist in India, based on birth and on occupation, these thousands are divided up into four major groups – Brahmins, warriors, artisans and laborers. In India, the untouchables , or outcasts, own nothing - neither land nor tools. They provide all of the unskilled and menial labor. The Indian caste system is considered by some to be unique. Some think the Indian caste model applies to other systems, such as apartheid in South Africa (where blacks served as the landless untouchables who served as the mobile available work force). This has now been abolished. A similar mobile, landless work force developed in China about 2200 years ago, about the same time as the caste system in India. "The basis of social class structure is role differentiation". It also requires formalized, institutionalized methods for assessing whether particular roles are valued or not valued, desirable or undesirable. In such a society there is restricted access to the roles that are most highly valued. In societies that are the most
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This is in contrast to a Social Contract a public contract...

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