collective action in the formation of pre modern states fundamental issues in archaeology

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Collective Action In The Formation Of Pre Modern States

Author : Richard Blanton
ISBN : 9780387738765
Genre : History
File Size : 30. 53 MB
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Anthropological archaeology and other disciplines concerned with the formation of early complex societies are undergoing a theoretical shift stemming from the realization that the social evolution of complex societies was more varied and complex than imagined. Given the need for new directions in theory, the book proposes that anthropologists look to political science, especially the rational choice theory of collective action. Collective action theorists propose that state formation results from the strategic behavior of rational and self-interested actors who make up the polity, including a political elite and those outside the official structure of the state. The theory proposes that the form taken by a state will depend on the “bargaining power”, of rulers and taxpayers. Where taxpayers have more resources with which to bargain, it is predicted that rulers will concede benefits to taxpayers and will agree to restrictions on their power. The authors subject collective action theory to a methodologically rigorous evaluation using systematic cross-cultural analysis based on a world-wide sample of societies. The results presented here indicate strong support for most elements of the theory, but some results, in particular those pertaining to the control of ruler behavior, suggest the possibility that there are contexts in which collective action may play out in ways not anticipated by the theory. While this type of theoretical modeling is commonly seen in political science research, this volume is unique in its approach from an anthropological and archaeological viewpoint.

The Neighborhood As A Social And Spatial Unit In Mesoamerican Cities

Author : M. Charlotte Arnauld
ISBN : 9780816520244
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58. 55 MB
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Recent realizations that prehispanic cities in Mesoamerica were fundamentally different from western cities of the same period have led to increasing examination of the neighborhood as an intermediate unit at the heart of prehispanic urbanization. This book addresses the subject of neighborhoods in archaeology as analytical units between households and whole settlements. The contributions gathered here provide fieldwork data to document the existence of sociopolitically distinct neighborhoods within ancient Mesoamerican settlements, building upon recent advances in multi-scale archaeological studies of these communities. Chapters illustrate the cultural variation across Mesoamerica, including data and interpretations on several different cities with a thematic focus on regional contrasts. This topic is relatively new and complex, and this book is a strong contribution for three interwoven reasons. First, the long history of research on the ÒTeotihuacan barriosÓ is scrutinized and withstands the test of new evidence and comparison with other Mesoamerican cities. Second, Maya studies of dense settlement patterns are now mature enough to provide substantial case studies. Third, theoretical investigation of ancient urbanization all over the world is now more complex and open than it was before, giving relevance to Mesoamerican perspectives on ancient and modern societies in time and space. This volume will be of interest not only to scholars and student specialists of the Mesoamerican past but also to social scientists and urbanists looking to contrast ancient cultures worldwide.

How Humans Cooperate

Author : Richard E. Blanton
ISBN : 9781607325147
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47. 99 MB
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In How Humans Cooperate, Richard E. Blanton and Lane F. Fargher take a new approach to investigating human cooperation, developed from the vantage point of an "anthropological imagination." Drawing on the discipline’s broad and holistic understanding of humans in biological, social, and cultural dimensions and across a wide range of temporal and cultural variation, the authors unite psychological and institutional approaches by demonstrating the interplay of institution building and cognitive abilities of the human brain. Blanton and Fargher develop an approach that is strongly empirical, historically deep, and more synthetic than other research designs, using findings from fields as diverse as neurobiology, primatology, ethnography, history, art history, and archaeology. While much current research on collective action pertains to local-scale cooperation, How Humans Cooperate puts existing theories to the test at larger scales in markets, states, and cities throughout the Old and New Worlds. This innovative book extends collective action theory beyond Western history and into a broadly cross-cultural dimension, places cooperation in the context of large and complex human societies, and demonstrates the interplay of collective action and aspects of human cognitive ability. By extending the scope and content of collective action theory, the authors find a fruitful new path to understanding human cooperation.

Ten Thousand Years Of Inequality

Author : Timothy A. Kohler
ISBN : 9780816538362
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 22 MB
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Is wealth inequality a universal feature of human societies, or did early peoples live an egalitarian existence? How did inequality develop before the modern era? Did inequalities in wealth increase as people settled into a way of life dominated by farming and herding? Why in general do such disparities increase, and how recent are the high levels of wealth inequality now experienced in many developed nations? How can archaeologists tell? Ten Thousand Years of Inequality addresses these and other questions by presenting the first set of consistent quantitative measurements of ancient wealth inequality. The authors are archaeologists who have adapted the Gini index, a statistical measure of wealth distribution often used by economists to measure contemporary inequality, and applied it to house-size distributions over time and around the world. Clear descriptions of methods and assumptions serve as a model for other archaeologists and historians who want to document past patterns of wealth disparity. The chapters cover a variety of ancient cases, including early hunter-gatherers, farmer villages, and agrarian states and empires. The final chapter synthesizes and compares the results. Among the new and notable outcomes, the authors report a systematic difference between higher levels of inequality in ancient Old World societies and lower levels in their New World counterparts. For the first time, archaeology allows humanity’s deep past to provide an account of the early manifestations of wealth inequality around the world. Contributors Nicholas Ames Alleen Betzenhauser Amy Bogaard Samuel Bowles Meredith S. Chesson Abhijit Dandekar Timothy J. Dennehy Robert D. Drennan Laura J. Ellyson Deniz Enverova Ronald K. Faulseit Gary M. Feinman Mattia Fochesato Thomas A. Foor Vishwas D. Gogte Timothy A. Kohler Ian Kuijt Chapurukha M. Kusimba Mary-Margaret Murphy Linda M. Nicholas Rahul C. Oka Matthew Pailes Christian E. Peterson Anna Marie Prentiss Michael E. Smith Elizabeth C. Stone Amy Styring Jade Whitlam

The State And The Social

Author : Ørnulf Gulbrandsen
ISBN : 9781782383260
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81. 1 MB
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Botswana has been portrayed as a major case of exception in Africa—as an oasis of peace and harmony with an enduring parliamentary democracy, blessed with remarkable diamond-driven economic growth. Whereas the “failure” of other states on the continent is often attributed to the prevalence of indigenous political ideas and structures, the author argues that Botswana’s apparent success is not the result of Western ideas and practices of government having replaced indigenous ideas and structures. Rather, the postcolonial state of Botswana is best understood as a unique, complex formation, one that arose dialectically through the meeting of European ideas and practices with the symbolism and hierarchies of authority, rooted in the cosmologies of indigenous polities, and both have become integral to the formation of a strong state with a stable government. Yet there are destabilizing potentialities in progress due to emerging class conflict between all the poor sections of the population and the privileged modern elites born of the expansion of a beef and diamond-driven political economy, in addition to conflicts between dominant Tswana and vast other ethnic groups. These transformations of the modern state are viewed from the long-term perspectives of precolonial and colonial genealogies and the rise of structures of domination, propelled by changing global forces.

Craft Production And Social Change In Northern China

Author : Anne P. Underhill
ISBN : 0306467712
Genre : History
File Size : 59. 6 MB
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The development of complex societies is a central subject in archaeological research. Using archaeological evidence from the Yellow (Huanghe) River valley in Northern China, this volume examines changes in the culture that occurred during the late Neolithic Period of China and speculates that this development connects to the emergence of civilized societies in this area. Several developments in the culture of the Huanghe Valley that suggest their contribution to the development of complex societies include: -Craft specialization; -Use of prestige goods such as jade, pottery, and bronze; -Display of status through both feasting and mortuary rituals. This work emphasizes the many different approaches that attempt to theorize the development of complex socieites, as well as outlines the approaches and methods used in this research. It will be of interest to archaeologists, cultural and historic anthropologists, ancien Asian historians and Asian preservationists.

The Oxford Handbook Of Comparative Politics

Author : Susan Carol Stokes
ISBN : 0199278482
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 49. 62 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics offers a critical survey of the field of empirical political science through the collection of a set of chapters written by 48 top scholars in the discipline of comparative politics

Archaeologies Of Slavery And Freedom In The Caribbean

Author : Lynsey A. Bates
ISBN : 1683400038
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67. 66 MB
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While the patterns of habitation and development are similar throughout the Caribbean, there was also a great deal of diversity. The authors in this volume use innovative techniques and perspectives to reveal the stories of places and times where the usual rules did not always apply.

Ancient Oaxaca

Author : Richard Blanton
ISBN : 052157787X
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 27 MB
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Just after 500 B.C., one of the earliest states in the New World developed in the Valley of Oaxaca, in present-day Mexico. The newly created political institution brought in its wake a profound transformation of society and technology. This book investigates the rich archaeological record of the valley in an attempt to throw light on the causes and consequences of these changes.

Foundations Of Social Inequality

Author : T. Douglas Price
ISBN : 9781489912893
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55. 15 MB
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In this authoritative volume, leading researchers offer diverse theoretical perspectives and a wide-range of information on the beginnings and nature of social inequality in past human societies. Their illuminating work investigates the role of status differentiation in traditional archaeological debates and major societal transitions. This volume features numerous case studies from the Old and New World spanning foraging societies to agricultural groups and complex states. Diachronic in view and archaeological in focus, this book will be of significant interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, and students.

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