Anthropology Chapter 6 Essay

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Achieved Status
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Social status that comes through talents, actions, efforts, activities, and accomplishments, rather than ascription.
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Age Set
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Group uniting all men or women (usually men) born during a certain time span; this group controls property and often has political and military functions.
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Ascribed Status
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Social Status (e.g., race or gender) that people have little or no choice about occupying.
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Band
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Basic unit of social organization among foragers. A band includes fewer than one hundred people; it often splits up seasonally.
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Big Man
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Figure often found among tribal horticulturalists and pastoralists. The big man occupies no office but creates his reputation through entrepreneurship and generosity to others. Neither his wealth nor his position passes to his heirs.
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Caste Systems
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Closed, hereditary system of stratification, often dictated by religion; hierarchical social status is ascribed at birth, so that people are locked into their parents’ social position.
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Chiefdom
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Form of sociopolitical organization intermediate between the tribe and the state; kin-based with differential access to resources and a permanent political structure.
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Conflict Resolution
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The means by which disputes are socially regulated and settled; found in all societies, but the resolution methods tend to be more formal and effective in states than in nonstates.
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Differential Access
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Unequal access to resources; basic attribute of chiefdoms and states. Superordinates have favored access to such resources, while the access of subordinates is limited by superordinates.
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Fiscal
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Pertaining to finances and taxation
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Law
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A legal code, including trial and enforcement; characteristic of state-organized societies.
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Office
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Permanent political position
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Open-Class System
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Stratification system that facilitates social mobility, with individual achievement and personal merit determining social rank.
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Pantribal Sodality
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A non-kin-based group that exists throughout a tribe, spanning several villages.
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Power
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The ability to exercise one’s will over others – to do what one wants; the basis of political status.
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Prestige
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Esteem, respect, or approval for acts, deeds, or qualities considered exemplary.
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Slavery
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The most extreme, coercive, abusive, and inhumane form of legalized inequality; people are treated as property.
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Sociopolitical Typology
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Classification scheme based on the scale and complexity of social organization and the effectiveness of political regulation; includes band, tribe, chiefdom, and state.
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State
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Complex sociopolitical system that administers a territory and populace with substantial contrasts in occupation, wealth, prestige and power. An independent, centrally organized political unit, a government.
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Status
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Any position that determines where someone fits in society; may be ascribed or achieved.
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Stratification
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Characteristic of a system with socioeconomic strata.
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Subordinate
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The lower, or underprivileged, group in a stratified system.
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Superordinate
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The upper, or privileged, group in a stratified system
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Tribe
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Form of sociopolitical organization usually based on horticulture or pastoralism. Socioeconomic stratification and centralized rule are absent in tribes, and there is no means of enforcing political decisions.
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Vertical Mobility
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Upward or downward change in a person’s social status.
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Village Head
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Leadership position in a village (as among the Yanomami, where the head is always a man); has limited authority; leads by example and persuasion.
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Wealth
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All a person’s material assets, including income, land, and other types of property; the basis of economic status.

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