Lolita Nikolova Reference: Haviland et al. 2005 Groupings Beyond Kinship: Gender, Age, Common Interest and Social Status
Chapter Outline • What principles do people use to organize societies? • What is age grading? • What are common- interest associations?
Grouping by Gender • Separates men and women to varying degrees in different societies. • In some societies, they may be together much of the time. • In other societies they may spend much time apart, even to the extreme of eating and sleeping separately.
Age Grades • A category of persons, usually of the same sex, organized by age. • Some societies divide age grades into sets, which include individuals who move together through a series of life stages. • A specific time is often ritually established for moving from a younger to an older age grade.
Age Grouping: Tiriki • Seven named age sets pass through four successive age grades. • Each age set embraces a 15-year span and opens to accept new initiates every 105 years. • In principle, the system resembles our college classes.
Common-interest Associations • Linked with rapid social change and urbanization. • Increasingly assumed roles formerly played by kinship or age groups. • Membership may range from voluntary to legally compulsory.
Gender and Common-interest Associations • Social scientists used to view women’s associations as less developed than men’s. • Still a question of why women are barred from associations in some societies, while in others they participate equally with men. • Participation in conventional associations has declined as online associations have grown in popularity.
Groupings in Society • Stratified society: divided into categories of people who do not share equally in resources, influence, or prestige. • Egalitarian society - has as many valued positions as persons capable of filling them.
Types of Social Stratification • Gender • Age • Social class • Caste
Caste Systems • A social class in which membership is determined by birth and fixed for life. • Children automatically belong to their parents’ caste.
Ways of Expressing Social Class • Verbal evaluation - what people say about other people in their society. • Patterns of association - who interacts with whom, how, and in what context.
Ways of Expressing Social Class • Symbolic indicators -activities and possessions indicative of class position. • Differences in life chances - high-status people generally live longer and in better health than people of low status.
Class Mobility • Open-class societies are those with the easiest mobility. • Degree of mobility is related to education or type of family organization that prevails in a society. • Where the extended family is the norm, mobility tends to be severely limited.
Social Stratification: Criteria • Wealth • Legal status • Birth • Personal qualities • Ideology