Re[2]: Reality check

Tue, 2 Jul 1996 10:54:37 CDT

Regarding Service's Bands-Tribes-Chiefdoms-States: This typology is used
in Scupin and DeCorse's intro text (Prentice Hall), with plenty of
apologizing for the elusiveness of the tribe concept. Many of us have
thrown out the tribe as a political-evolutionary type; and some reject
the band type because it is essentially different from, say, autonomous
horticultural villages not politically but ecologically only. Though I
use Scupin and DeCorse, in lecture I propose (1) Autonomous Communities,
(2) Chiefdoms, (3) States, and (4) Empires. The last of these is
somewhat idiosyncratic I suppose; but I like talking about the special
stresses and strains caused when state-like polities are extended over
especially large areas and embrace unusually diverse peoples--culturally
(including linguistically) and sometimes biologically as well. I might
add that I avoid calling the larger societal types "higher levels of int
egration" or anything like that. They comprise societies that are large
r; this larger size brings stratification, and more differntiation of
structure and function. Typologies are not inherently ethnocentric,
are they? --Bob Graber