Theories Of How Societies Grew In The Past Have Been Debated

997 WordsFeb 14, 20174 Pages
Theories of how societies grew in the past have been debated among many anthropologists. However, two very educated anthropologist developed theories to explain how this evolution took place. Elman Service, and Timothy Earle had some similar ideas, but in the broad spectrum, they had differences in how they believed the leaders and status’ of societies were developed. Elman Service, an American cultural anthropologist, also known as a neo-evolutionist, describes Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States as the four classifications of societies (Farooq, 2014). Chiefdoms differ from bands and tribes in having a more or less permanent, fulltime leader with real authority to make major decisions for their societies (O’Neil, 2006). Genealogy, and…show more content…
As the tribes grow and become more intricate, the entire chiefdom benefit as a whole organized society. Tim Earle is an economic anthropologist who specializes in the archaeological studies of social inequality, leadership, and political economy in early chiefdoms and states (Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, 2016). He theorizes Chiefdom evolved due to the leaders having a certain level of control of productivity and resources, rather than mutual exchanges and benefits as in Services’ theory. Earle believes the Chiefs held control and allowed his people to have a certain amount of privileges with some of the land he conquered and came to rule. Because he had the control, he was able to stay in power. Service believed there wasn’t such a strict emphasis on control, but rather a mutual organization in which people were given positive benefits, rather than restrictions. With regard to Service’s theory, he explain s the four levels of classification with the Band being the first level of society. They were small itinerant groups of people whom mostly survived by hunting and foraging. There was no real ranking system in place. They hunted, they gathered food, and they were constantly moving locations. The Tribes was the second level of the classification by Service. These larger societies were egalitarian, and there was usually a head of the tribe who makes the decisions and guided the entire group. These early societies were based on kinship and blood lineage,
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