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Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology

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Cultural Anthropology

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  1. Cultural Anthropology Chapter Eleven: Political Organization and the Maintenance of Order

  2. Chapter Preview • What Is Political Organization? • How Is Order Maintained Within a Culture? • How is Order Maintained Between Cultures? • How Do Political Systems Obtain People’s Allegiance?

  3. Kinds of Political Systems • Political organization • Means a human group uses to maintain social order and reduce social disorder • Universal • Four basic kinds: Uncentralized Centralized 1. Bands 3. Chiefdoms 2. Tribes 4. States

  4. Uncentralized Political Systems • Band Organization • Small group of related families in a region • No formal, centralized political system • Informal leadership

  5. Tribal Organization • Tribe • Group of communities in a region, sharing a common culture, and integrated by a unifying factor • Higher population density than bands • Informal leadership

  6. Tribal Organization • Kinship organization • Clan elders or heads • Segmentary lineage system • Age-Grade organization • Specific age grades given political functions • Association organization • Common-interest associations • Military societies serve to integrate tribe

  7. Chiefdom • Regional polity under a ruler from a ranked hierarchy of people • Redistributive system • Usually unstable

  8. State System • Power centralized in a government • Legalized use of force • Tendency toward instability and transience • Usually multinational • Difference between nation and state • Nation: communities of people who see themselves as “one people” • Today, 181 states and 5000 nations

  9. Political Leadership and Gender • Women rarely in top political positions. There are presently exceptions to this. • Women have power in a number of societies • Bands • Iroquois • Igbo

  10. Political Organization and the Maintenance of Order • Bands and tribes • No centralized authority • Depend upon gossip, criticism, and fear of supernatural forces • Chiefdoms and states • Authority with power to regulate peoples’ actions

  11. Internalized Controls • Cultural control • Control due to internalized beliefs and values • Effective deterrents to antisocial behaviour • Disgust of incest • Fear of deformity, disease, or death • Fear of ghosts or hell

  12. Externalized Controls • Social control • Open coercion • Sanctions • Conformity to social norms • Formal (Organized) • Positive • Negative • Informal (Diffuse) • Positive • Negative

  13. Original Study Limits on Power in Bedouin Society • Power depends upon respect • To win respect a person must follow ideals • Alienating a dependent can lose respect for person in power • Dependent can leave • Kin of dependent can scold superior • Supernatural retribution is feared

  14. Social Control Through Law • Definition of law under contention • Malinowski and Hoebel • Use of overt coercion • Need to consider each case in its cultural context • Laws are formal negative sanctions

  15. Functions of Law - Defines relationships among society members - Allocates the authority to employ coercion in the enforcement of sanctions - Redefines social relations and ensures social flexibility

  16. Crime • Distinction between crime and tort • The former is a breach and violation of the public right, latter is an infringement or privation of the civil rights of an individual • Settlement of disputes • Negotiation • Mediation • Adjudication

  17. Political Organization and External Affairs • War • Not a universal phenomenon • Situation specific • Levels differ dramatically • Dramatic increase in scale with states • Crisis today • Modern weaponry • Civilian casualties • Worldview a major factor

  18. Canada and International Peacekeeping • External affairs more than warfare • Diplomatic offices, trade relations and international aid • Canadian soldiers involved in many military peacekeeping missions

  19. Political Systems and the Question of Legitimacy • Allegiance necessary for society to work • Uncentralized systems have it freely given • Centralized systems rely upon coercion • Legitimacy is the right of leaders to rule • Based on social values • Grants the rights of power • May be withdrawn

  20. Religion and Politics • Intimately connected • Religion may influence laws • Religion may legitimize the political order • Supernatural is reflected in political organizations • European kings ruled by divine right Iran became an Islamic republic • U.S. introduction of “God” to Pledge of Allegiance