ATH 450-01


  • machinations of human  beings to obtain and hold power
  • social negotiations
  • collaboration on goals
  • allocation of resources
  • allocation of “values”
  • hierarchy
  • regional or territorial leadership
  • orgaizational patterns
  • relationships between elected authority and citizens
  • regulations
  • law

political philosophy

  • Thos. Hobbes: state of nature v. political society (“nasty, brutish and short”)
  • John Locke: natural society v. political society
  • Jeremy Bentham: civil society v. political society
  • Henry Maine: law of nature = law of nations


  • what are bands, tribes & chiefdoms
  • do band communities engage in politics
  • do modern band societies furnish a general model for human behavior in prehistoric times
  • did tribes exist
  • what mechanisms allowed these smaller groups to turn into larger ones


  • often cofusing because it was used expansively
  • average group size of 25 members
  • upper limit 300-400 members
  • 25-150 individuals, grouped in nuclear families
  • division of labor along age/sex, little specializations
  • unity of wider group is mechanical, based on common language, tradition or values
  • strict rule of band exogamy; forces marriages among other bands
  • bilateral kinship; related to both parents’ families equally, ties to both bands


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