The band is a relatively small and loosely organized kin-ordered group that inhabits a common territory and that may split periodically into smaller extended family groups that are politically and economically independent. Band is a form of anthropological political system noted for its simplicity. According to common anthropological knowledge, a band usually consists of not more than 30-50 individuals.
Bands display an egalitarian form of authority which advocates equality among members and the eradication of hindrances to the doctrine of equality. However, bands often exhibit a weak form of leadership due to the non-existent of rules and written laws the support their leaders. Tribes are loosely-structured anthropological political systems composed of families and other communities which are based solely on kinship. Tribes are the most basic and primitive form of political system. In tribal societies, the elders and the heads of the families are often the ones who lead the tribe.
They are usually the ones who are sought for advice and guidance. The main difference between a band and a tribe is the size of the community. Tribes are defined as bigger forms of bands. Chiefdom is a form of anthropological political system that is more complex than both the band and the tribe. A chiefdom, according to common anthropological knowledge is composed of a number of villages under the control of one individual called as “chief. “
Unlike the headman or headwoman in bands and tribes, the leader of a chiefdom is generally a true authority figure, whose right to make final decisions, give commands, and enforce obedience serves to unite members in all affairs and at all times. Anthropologist, however, argued that such form of anthropological political system is very stable. According to experts, this kind of socio-political organization tends to be prone to a cycle of monumental collapse. In anthropology, the state is a political institution established to manage and defend a complex, socially stratified society occupying a defined territory.
A state greatly differs from a band, tribe and chiefdom because of its developed nature. Unlike the other three primitive systems, a state is governed by rules and laws which generates from a just law-making body. States are the governing bodies of nations where sovereignty resides. In order to be recognized as a state, an anthropological political system must meet the four requirements of having a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter relations with other states.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 November 2016
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