The RoutledgeEncyclopedia of Social andCultural AnthropologyAlan Barnard and Jonathan SpencerClass, Community, Complex Soc...
Class- Social class understood as a relationship- Study of class differences, class analysis- Different approachs to conce...
Class- anthropologists working in ‘tribal’ and ‘peasant’ societies, problems occured  by the growth of the middle classes ...
Community- All dealt with people (Hillery, 1955)- Four key qualities in community:   - a smallness of social scale;   - a ...
Community- Social coherence of communities emerged from the people having with  common interests in mind and sharing manys...
Community- the community study is a tradition in anthropology of basing research on  what could in some sense be treated a...
Community- how ‘community’ is as a feature of social life, on how membership of  community is marked and attributed, how n...
Community- understanding of ‘community’ must be relativistic, that the concept is a  matter of contingent symbolic definit...
Community- Community’ in current usage- ‘communities’ have continued to flourish; as an idea, community has  continued to ...
Complex Society- The term ‘complex society’ came into increasing use in anthropology in the  post-World War II period. It ...
Complex Society- From the 1950s to the 1970s, research on various types of informal  organization was investigated in the ...
Complex Society- anthropology of complex societies has been devoted to the shape of social  relationships there has natura...
Power- ranging from physical domination to symbolic empowerment- either between an individual and a group, as in the power...
Power- anthropologists have studied historically, and prehistorically, the question of  how individuals might have come to...
Power- described power as ‘not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a  certain strength we are endowed with;...
Sociology- a discipline that it can be identified only very loosely as the study of social  relationships, institutions an...
Sociology- Sociology and anthropology- two disciplines have developed in different ways and there has been less  communica...
Sociology- The intellectual barriers between the two disciplines are not absolute   - include studies that were more narro...
Society- Specific groups of people living together in particular ways, different  societies.- Society has been the central...
Society- Emphasis on rules expresses the institutional nature of the principles of  social action and organization. The ru...
Society- Division of anthropology into ‘ethnographic’ description and interpretation,  focusing on the analysis of the par...
Society- Kroeber’s theory of culture, for instance, oscillates between has meant  nature in the sense of ‘human nature’, w...
Society- Anthropology is concerned with simple, kinship-based, stateless societies  with a gift economy, while sociology d...
Society- divide the social sphere into two complementary aspects, one more ‘social’  and the other more ‘individual’.- the...
Society- the notion of society has also been losing ground; contemporary  anthropology tends to reject essentialist or tel...
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The Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer

Class, Community, Complex Society,
Power, Society, Sociology

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The Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology

  1. 1. The RoutledgeEncyclopedia of Social andCultural AnthropologyAlan Barnard and Jonathan SpencerClass, Community, Complex Society,Power, Society, Sociology1836410 Ceren Köktürk
  2. 2. Class- Social class understood as a relationship- Study of class differences, class analysis- Different approachs to concept of class; - Emergence of class society is linked to the rise of private property and the state - variety of approaches influenced by the rejuvenation of political economy. - Marxists argued that polarized classes can be shown as a early capitalism could also be found in precapitalist societies. - Conflict and class struggle; male elders appropriated the surplus labor of their juniors and of women, they were to be seen as an exploiting class (class in itself - class for itself)
  3. 3. Class- anthropologists working in ‘tribal’ and ‘peasant’ societies, problems occured by the growth of the middle classes in capitalist industrial societies- ‘vertical’ links across apparent class boundaries prevent the formation of horizontal linkages between those sharing the same ‘objective’ economic situation. Links of kinship, religion ethnicity and nation are stronger than links of class- pre-socialist concepts of hierarchy can plausibly be glossed in terms of class.- the concept of class remains the appropriate analytic term- the experience of class is structured by race, gender and kinship.- class emerges as a relation to the means of production that is collective rather than individual, a relation of communities to the capitalist state more than of employees to employers’ (Sacks 1989: 547)- culturally sensitive interpretations of stratification and social inequality and in aspiring to a unified theory of class, race and gender
  4. 4. Community- All dealt with people (Hillery, 1955)- Four key qualities in community: - a smallness of social scale; - a homogeneity of activities and states of mind of members; - a consciousness of distinctiveness; - a self-sufficiency across a broad range of needs and through time. Traditional anthropological approaches- ‘Community’ is to be characterized in terms of - common interests between people; - common ecology and locality - common social system or structure- Frankenberg (1966) suggests that it is common interests in achievable things (economic, religious, or whatever) that give members of a community a common interest in one another.
  5. 5. Community- Social coherence of communities emerged from the people having with common interests in mind and sharing manystranded or multiplex relations with one another, also they share a sentiment towards the locality and the group itself.- Geographical territory is the key of community. - throw up common problems and give rise to common perspectives, which lead to the development of organizations for joint action and activities, which in turn produce common attachments, feelings of interdependence, common commitment, loyalty and identity within a social group.- Anthropologists have conventionally emphasized an essential commonality as the logic underlying a community’s origination and continuation. Communities have been regarded as empirical things-in-themselves (social organisms), as functioning wholes, and as things apart from other like things. Consciousness of this distinction gives community members a sense of belonging.
  6. 6. Community- the community study is a tradition in anthropology of basing research on what could in some sense be treated as a bounded group of people, culturally homogeneous and resident in one locality, because this ‘community’ would provide a laboratory for the close observation- Anthropologists conventionally studied communities (villages, tribes, islands) because these were regarded as the key structural units of social life: what the elementary structures of kinship gave onto; what the complex structures of society were composed of- Symbolic approaches- Functionalism and structuralism approaches which emphasize the extent to which cultural reality is negotiated and contested, its definition a matter of context and interpretation, as anthropologists have come to regard social life as turning on the use of symbolic not structural logics –notions of ‘community’.
  7. 7. Community- how ‘community’ is as a feature of social life, on how membership of community is marked and attributed, how notions of community are given cultural meaning, and how such meaning relates to others.- social groups achieve an identity by defining themselves as different from other such groups and by erecting boundaries between them- Anthony Cohen argues community must be seen as a symbolic construct and a contrastive one; it derives from the situational perception of a boundary which marks off one social group from another: awareness of community depends on consciousness of boundary. Hence, communities and their boundaries exist essentially not as social-structural systems and institutions but as worlds of meaning in the minds of their members.- Community is an aggregating device which both sustains diversity and expresses commonality. Thus it is that community comes to represent the social milieu to which people say they most belong; community, its members often believe
  8. 8. Community- understanding of ‘community’ must be relativistic, that the concept is a matter of contingent symbolic definition, is also to talk about ‘community’ in relation to other types or levels of sociation.- members of a community are related by their perception of commonalities and equally, differentiated from other communities and their members by these relations and the sociation they amount to.- ‘community’ describes the arena in which one learns and largely continues to practise being social. It serves as a symbolic resource, repository and referent for a variety of identities, is to continue to encompass these by a common symbolic boundary.- Evolutionary approaches- Community is a stage in social evolution, what is seen as ‘community’ now is a residue and a throwback to a mode of relating and interacting which was once the norm but has now all but been eclipsed by more modern notions of contractual relations in complex society
  9. 9. Community- Community’ in current usage- ‘communities’ have continued to flourish; as an idea, community has continued to possess both practical and ideological significance for people. Indeed, recent decades- community is defined in terms of locality, ethnicity, religion, occupation, recreation, special interest, even humanity, people maintain the idea that it is this milieu which is most essentially ‘theirs’, and that they are prepared to assert their ownership and membership, vocally and aggressively, in the face of opposing ideas and groups
  10. 10. Complex Society- The term ‘complex society’ came into increasing use in anthropology in the post-World War II period. It is used somewhat imprecisely to refer mostly to societies with a developed division of labor and with sizeable populations. State organization, urbanism, organized social inequality and literacy tend also to be aspects of the complexity involved.- tradition of local ethnographic field study, anthropological research has often focused on smaller-scale units of analysis within complex societies- ‘national character’ to generalize from culture and personality analyses of interpersonal relations to national cultures- Community studies have often succeeded in offering well-rounded portrayals of places and ways oflife, and some even have a certain literary merit.- generation of studies in the British Isles in his comparative exploration of tendencies of social change
  11. 11. Complex Society- From the 1950s to the 1970s, research on various types of informal organization was investigated in the anthropological study of complex societies- complex societies has been groups whose forms of life for one reason or other diverge from whatever is thought of as the ‘mainstream’- Studies of ethnically distinct and disadvantaged groups may well attract anthropologists because they entail both an involvement with a culturally different ‘other’ and an opportunity to contribute- The anthropological study of the state was earlier preoccupied with phases of state formation, complex society but more recently there has been an increasing concern with contemporary states and state apparatuses, and with the nation-state and nationalism as cultural constructs- Globalization itself is also emerging as one focus of ethnography and conceptual work, in varying degrees tied to ‘world systems’ formulations elsewhere in the social sciences
  12. 12. Complex Society- anthropology of complex societies has been devoted to the shape of social relationships there has naturally also been an ethnographic concern with culture- To understand the culture of complex societies in a more macro- anthropological manner, an ‘organization of diversity’: there are interrelated subcultures, a more or less overarching cultural apparatus and a division of knowledge in large part matching the division of labour- research area of ideology, hegemony and cultural resistance.- youth culture, popular culture and the media in complex societies has had- some part in the development of the new quasidiscipline of cultural studies, a discipline also sometimes inclined toward ethnography.
  13. 13. Power- ranging from physical domination to symbolic empowerment- either between an individual and a group, as in the power legitimized through acknowledged, often redistributive, leadership; or one group and another group, as in colonial domination; or between humans and their environmental energy sources, as in the power of a collectivity to organize and maintain itself.- Social and political anthropologists have theorized about forms of social organization in non-state and state societies which legitimize the power of specific lineages, classes, or individuals to make decisions pertaining to others’ lives and the organization of social and material resources.- A study of power implies not only a study of social distinctions but also of the inequalities implied in those distinctions- Power has been thought of by anthropologists as human influence and agency anthropological analyses of power have investigated social stratification and hierarchy, some have looked at forms of social organization which assure that power is not individually concentrated, as in the industrial collectives or collectives not organized within state societies
  14. 14. Power- anthropologists have studied historically, and prehistorically, the question of how individuals might have come to dominate groups and how one group might have come to dominate another- Legal anthropologists, too, have studied cross culturally the different systems through which power is legitimized, enforced and contested.- that social stratification and hierarchy are forcefully maintained by the ‘power elite’, those who, between themselves, mobilize the power to transcend ‘ordinary’ social environments and make decisions that pertain to the lives of people they will never meet, in nations they might never visit.- Giddens’s theory of structuration – in which ‘power is regarded as generated in and through the reproduction of structures of domination’- the concept of totalizing power (in which the state and/or a popular majority dominate, through every means, ‘civil society’) provided anthropologists with a way to think about pervasive institutionalized power.
  15. 15. Power- described power as ‘not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributesto a complex strategical situation in a particular society’- power is ‘creative, coercive, and coextensive with meaning’. A view of power as not simply embedded in structural relations – maintained by force of one kind or another – but also as constituted through language and everyday practice- studies of power as evidenced in times and sites of war, where claims to power- are forcefully clear, if contradictory, anthropological analyses have increasingly also been focused on the elusive power of transnational capital in determining social relations in various localities and on manifestations of symbolic power.- as ‘that invisible power which can be exercised only with the complicity of those who do not want to know that they are subject to it or even that they themselves exercise it’.
  16. 16. Sociology- a discipline that it can be identified only very loosely as the study of social relationships, institutions and structures, is a child of industrial capitalism and its predominant field of study is modern Western societies.- concern with the nature of modern societies, sociology much more than- anthropology seeks to identify modernity and the problems associated with it by producing valid empirical generalizations about its subject matter.- sociology did not develop a valued body of specific case studies that parallel anthropology’s ethnography. Instead, it has concentrated on ‘comparative- the discipline has been concerned not just to study modern society but also to alleviate the problems associated with modernity.- sociologists are much more likely than anthropologists to present their findings in numerical terms and to make their arguments in statistical terms.
  17. 17. Sociology- Sociology and anthropology- two disciplines have developed in different ways and there has been less communication between the two sciences- question of modern society: while sociology was concerned with the world that the modern West had gained, anthropology was concerned with the world that it had lost- Anthropologists, then, tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of modern societies, but tend also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the societies that anthropologists normally study. Some call this stereotyping Occidentalism.- Equally, sociologists tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of societies outside the modern sphere, but also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the modern societies they conventionally study. Some call this stereotyping Orientalism.
  18. 18. Sociology- The intellectual barriers between the two disciplines are not absolute - include studies that were more narrowly focused but that used ethnographic techniques - sociologists dissatisfied with their own discipline’s imited view of culture draw on anthropologists - number of anthropologists began to study Western societies; a change that occurred without a corresponding growth in the number of sociologists studying societies outside the modern sphere - has been a growing interest in historical and cultural topics at the same time that the statistical techniques used in sociology have become more refined. - two disciplines will become more complex
  19. 19. Society- Specific groups of people living together in particular ways, different societies.- Society has been the central theoretical object of much European anthropology, especially British social anthropology, so that any history of the theoretical use of the term swiftly becomes a history of anthropological theory. In that history, various tensions and oppositions appear and reappear: society and the state, society and the individual, society and culture, society and nature, primitive society and modern society- Two senses: society and societies- Society can be seen as a basic, but not exclusive, attribute of human nature: we are genetically predisposed to social life.- But society can also be seen as constituting one particular, exclusive dimension of human nature (Ingold 1994), our dependence on the rules of our particular society.
  20. 20. Society- Emphasis on rules expresses the institutional nature of the principles of social action and organization. The rules of different human societies vary in time and space, but there are rules of some sort everywhere- ‘society’ is applicable to a human group having some of the following properties: territoriality; recruitment primarily by sexual reproduction of its members; an institutional organization that is relatively self-sufficient and capable of enduring beyond the life-span of an individual; and cultural distinctiveness.- society is used as people, social system or social organization’, the socio- political framework- society is a group, its body of jural norms (ideas of authority and citizenship, conflict regulation, status and role systems), and its characteristic patterns of social relations(relations of power and exploitation, forms of cooperation, modes of exchange).
  21. 21. Society- Division of anthropology into ‘ethnographic’ description and interpretation, focusing on the analysis of the particular and emphasizing the differences between societies; and ‘theoretical’ comparison and explanation, which attempts to formulate synthetic propositions valid for all human societies.- Two genealogies: individualism and holism. Universitas is associated with the premodern world dominated by Aristotelian thought, societas with early modern ‘Natural Law’ thinkers- to derive social anthropology directly from the individualism of societas and cultural anthropology equally directly from the holism of universitas.- Two oppositions: nature/culture and individual/society- relationship between individual and society, or between nature and culture, is one of continuity or one of discontinuity.- culture an outgrowth of human nature that can be exhaustively analysed in terms of the biology of the human species, and is society merely the sum of the interactions and representations of the individuals that make
  22. 22. Society- Kroeber’s theory of culture, for instance, oscillates between has meant nature in the sense of ‘human nature’, which leads to analyses of the affective and cognitive moulding of individuals by culture, has meant non- human nature, as in the kind of materialism that treats culture as an instrument of adaptation to the environment.- individual/society’ polarity and the associated concepts of ‘structure’ and ‘function’.- Lévi- Strauss’s idea of ‘culture’ is in many ways analogous to the notion of ‘civil society’. Lévi-Strauss derived both culture and society from the same substratum, the unconscious, the place where the oppositions between nature and culture, and between individual and society,- Two types of society: primitive and civilized- The main problem associated with the idea of different societies has been the establishment of historical and morphological types of society, and the ways in which one type relates to another.- Morgan’s division into hunter-gatherer societies (savagery), agricultural societies (barbarism) and complex societies (civilization),
  23. 23. Society- Anthropology is concerned with simple, kinship-based, stateless societies with a gift economy, while sociology deals with modern, industrial, and (originally) Western societies.- ‘modern’ society is a societas which emerged from the universitas of ‘primitive’, ‘ancient’, or ‘traditional’ society.- qualitative difference between the terms ends to treat universitas as the normal form of society,- while societas is conceived as a historical oddity or an ideological illusion.- primitive society as its traditional object, anthropology has virtually identified its concept- of society with the theme of kinship.- Evolutionism already showed a conceptual compromise; it projected the opposition- between primitive collectivism (founded on group kinship and normative status relationships),and modern individualism (organized on the basis of local contiguity, the individual contract and freedom of association),
  24. 24. Society- divide the social sphere into two complementary aspects, one more ‘social’ and the other more ‘individual’.- the image of ‘primitive society’ in classical social anthropology ‘internalized’ the contrast previously established between global societies or global views of society.- derives from the idea that society is made up of asocial individuals who require socialization society- Criticism and crisis- The standard anthropological representation of ‘a society’ in the functionalist and culturalist- traditions is that of an ethnically distinct people,living in accordance with specific institutions and having a particular culture. The ideal coincidence of the three components is seen as making up an individual totality, with its own internal organization and purpose.- Lévi-Strauss insisted that structuralism was not a method for the analysis of ‘global societies’. He suggested that a society is a contradictory manifold in which structures of different orders coexist, and that the ‘order of orders’ is a problem more for cultural self-consciousness than for analysis.
  25. 25. Society- the notion of society has also been losing ground; contemporary anthropology tends to reject essentialist or teleological views of society as an agency that transcends individuals.- As every social theory at some point believed it held the key to the resolution of the classic dichotomies and oppositions- Contemporary criticism has thus undermined the anthropological view of society from all sides: ‘primitive society’ as a real type; society as an empirically delimited object; society as an objective basis for collective representations, an entity endowed with structural coherence and functional purpose.- The ideal object of anthropology, ‘primitive society’, was dissolved, not so much because of the objective globalization of local ‘primitive’ worlds, or as a result of the progress of anthropological enlightenment, but rather because of the demise of the notion of ‘modern society’ that was its obverse

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