Collective Action in the Formation of Pre Modern States

Author: Richard Blanton
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387738762
Format: PDF, Docs
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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
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816520240
Format: PDF
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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.

Ten Thousand Years of Inequality

Author: Timothy A. Kohler
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816538360
Format: PDF, ePub
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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 Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Author: Susan Carol Stokes
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199278480
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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
Publisher: Florida Museum of Natural Hist
ISBN: 9781683400554
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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.

Craft Production and Social Change in Northern China

Author: Anne P. Underhill
Publisher: Taylor & Francis US
ISBN: 9780306467714
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Ancient Oaxaca

Author: Richard Blanton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521577878
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory

Author: Cynthia Eller
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807067932
Format: PDF
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According to the myth of matriarchal prehistory, men and women lived together peacefully before recorded history. Society was centered around women, with their mysterious life-giving powers, and they were honored as incarnations and priestesses of the Great Goddess. Then a transformation occurred, and men thereafter dominated society. Given the universality of patriarchy in recorded history, this vision is understandably appealing for many women. But does it have any basis in fact? And as a myth, does it work for the good of women? Cynthia Eller traces the emergence of the feminist matriarchal myth, explicates its functions, and examines the evidence for and against a matriarchal prehistory. Finally, she explains why this vision of peaceful, woman-centered prehistory is something feminists should be wary of.

Cooperation and Collective Action

Author: David M. Carballo
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1457174081
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"[Cooperation research] is one of the busiest and most exciting areas of transdisciplinary science right now, linking evolution, ecology and social science. . . this is the first major work or collection to address linkages between archaeology and cooperation research."—Michael E. Smith, Arizona State University Past archaeological literature on cooperation theory has emphasized competition's role in cultural evolution. As a result, bottom-up possibilities for group cooperation have been under theorized in favor of models stressing top-down leadership, while evidence from a range of disciplines has demonstrated humans to effectively sustain cooperative undertakings through a number of social norms and institutions. Cooperation and Collective Action is the first volume to focus on the use of archaeological evidence to understand cooperation and collective action. Disentangling the motivations and institutions that foster group cooperation among competitive individuals remains one of the few great conundrums within evolutionary theory. The breadth and material focus of archaeology provide a much needed complement to existing research on cooperation and collective action, which thus far has relied largely on game-theoretic modeling, surveys of college students from affluent countries, brief ethnographic experiments, and limited historic cases. In Cooperation and Collective Action, diverse case studies address the evolution of the emergence of norms, institutions, and symbols of complex societies through the last 10,000 years. This book is an important contribution to the literature on cooperation in human societies that will appeal to archaeologists and other scholars interested in cooperation research.

Archaeology of Knowledge

Author: Michel Foucault
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 0415287529
Format: PDF, Docs
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In France, a country that awards its intellectuals the status other countries give their rock stars, Michel Foucault was part of a glittering generation of thinkers, one which also included Sartre, de Beauvoir and Deleuze. One of the great intellectual heroes of the twentieth century, Foucault was a man whose passion and reason were at the service of nearly every progressive cause of his time. From law and order, to mental health, to power and knowledge, he spearheaded public awareness of the dynamics that hold us all in thrall to a few powerful ideologies and interests. Arguably his finest work, Archaeology of Knowledge is a challenging but fantastically rewarding introduction to his ideas.