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  Topic: "Power" - Open Discussion, Why Lolcatz Rule< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,15:14   

Quote (khan @ Oct. 26 2009,14:25)
How much does 'power' relate to 'privilege'?

Cross-culturally, it correllates highly. There are always exceptions, though. Think of mendicant buddhist monks or something.

In archaeology...some of the forces that cause an increase in social complexity are warfare & competition for scarce resources in the face of population increase and resulting social or geographical conscription. People tend to aggregate and form heirarchies, with leaders that either earn or are granted leadership roles. Groups differentiate in various ways: segmentation, scheduling, ranking, grades of stratification, etc. Alliances form, usually based on kinship and the extensions of kinship until groups begin to concieve of themselves as "the people." Ritual and ceremony reinforce this. There's changes in subsistence. There's elaboration of technology, such as storage of food and irrigation that allows for control over food resources. There's more specialization of roles, some become horticulturalists/farmers while others hunt or herd. Specialization can lead to trade, "banking" systems and demands for luxury items and prestige goods, blah, blah, blah. Whole books can be written on this and are, it gets horribly complicated as one looks at examples ranging from Aborigines in Oz to Mesopotamian irrigationalists, to Northwest Coast American Indian groups that "farm" the sea. There's no set material pattern for all groups to follow--as Jared Diamond emphasizes, it's all contingent.

But there are "universals" in human cultures, and myth and religion fall in that category. We all need to eat, sleep and reproduce, and we all seem to need stories to hear.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
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