Kin, Tribe, Ethnicity, Caste, Class, Nation: Patterns of Social Stratification Ideologies of ‘blood’ and ideologies of ‘kind’ Kinship as an ‘ideology of blood’ Many small-scale societies are made up of groups that take kinship, i.e. marriage, descent and filiation as the primary principles of membership. For example, among the !Kung, membership in a kin group will determine which hunting and/or gathering territories you will possess and use. Descent groups, i.e. groups that define their membership through descent from a common ancestor are very common in small-scale societies. They can be patrilineal, matrilineal, or consanguineal, i.e. descent is traced from either mother or father. A descent group formed from unilineal descent, and to which a common ancestor can be traced is called a lineage. A descent group formed through unilineal descent, and to which a common ancestor cannot be exactly traced, is called a clan. Complex Societies: Forms of Organization I: Ideologies of ‘blood’ Last day, I mentioned that once states emerged, the dominant political principle was one expressed through control over territory, rather than being based on kinship. Population increases prevented descent groups from having major political roles, and states took over the functions of dispute mediation, and social ‘order’. However, groups based on ideologies of shared ‘blood’, ‘substance’, or ‘descent’, do not disappear. Rather they take on new forms: these include notions of ‘tribe’, caste, ethnicity, and nation. Notions of shared descent are a powerful way to create notions of communal solidarity. Ethnicity and ‘tribalism’ Ideas of shared ‘blood’ are often used to create feelings of unity and shared destiny in larger groups, whose members may have no traceable geneaological connection. Ideologies of ethnicity based collective identity on shared descent, relating to common regional/national origin. The major aspect of ethnicity is that it is *relational*, i.e. groups define themselves in terms of relations of difference to ‘others’. We are Canadian because we are not American. Ethnicity is thus an exclusive form of belonging. Awareness of ethnic identity is shifting; ethnic movements often arise in relation to political mobilization and through conflict over resources. Although ethnicity has an exclusive ideology, its actual membership is often fluid. Caste Feature of the South Asian subcontinent. Thought to have arisen through the transformation of ‘tribes’ in the transition to agricultural revolution. Elements of caste appear to have existed in the Harappan civilization, c. 3,000 BC A major feature of caste is endogamy, i.e. the requirement that people marry within their own caste, not outside it. Also religious and cosmological ranking associated with caste, found in major Hindu scriptures: earliest were the division of society into 4 varnas (colours): Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. 2nd century AD, a fifth category, the ati-Shudras, or untouchables was added. Untouchability was outlawed by the Indian constitution, 1951. Nations and Nationalism Shared heritage and historical experience the basis of a state. Common language, shared origin, unique customs are features that define a sense of nationhood. Nationalism can often arise as a result of an ethnic movement. 19th century nationalisms, formed through defining themselves as ‘one people, one language, one culture.’ Difference between territorial nationalism versus a ‘blood’ nationalism, e.g. in Quebec. Monocultural nationalisms are increasingly challenged by transnational phenomena and groups, as increasing quantities of information, cultural knowledge and people cross ‘national’ boundaries. Forms of organization in complex societies 2: ideologies of kind 1. Community: principle os shared co-residence and interaction of proximity. Experience of place and celebration of shared history. Senses of place are often powerful, e.g. much oral history is inscribed in local landscapes, Western apache. 2. Class: does not require overt membership or shared descent. Often defined through relationship to major means of production. Also included are status distinctions: i.e. how is class maintained through generations. Cultural capital: the acquired ability to discriminate between valued consumer goods according to their social position. Social capital: the informal networks through which class distinctions are maintained through time.