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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
City States
Politically organized societies based on intensive eploitation of landless workers in the local area
A centralized command and control structure with officials arranged in an administrative hierarchy.
Great Tradition
The culture of the elite in a state-organized society with a written tradition that is not fully shared by nonliterate, village-level commoners.
Politically centralized societies based on an urban administrative and ceremonial center drawing their support from self-sufficient peasant villagers scattered over a vast region
Little Tradition
Ritual beliefs and practices followed by nonliterate commoners, especially rural villagers who are part of a larger state-level society.
Multilineat Evolution
Steward’s theory that, given similar conditions, cultures can develop independently along similar lines. For example, he argued that irrigation agriculture led to state organization several times.
Social Product
The value of the aggregate annual production of a society, measured either as production or consumption
Scale Subsidy
Social support in the form of taxes or tribute for activities that promote growth in scale, or that maintain a larger scale society when benefits are inequitably distributed
The mental, ideological, or belief systems, as expressed in the religion, myth, and rituals of a culture. According to Harris’ cultural materialist theory, superstructure is shaped by the structure.
The social, economic, and political organization of a culture, which is shaped by the technological base, or infrastructure, according to Harris’ cultural materialist theory
Staple Economy
The state-controlled production, storage, and distribution of subsistence staples, such as potatoes and maize in the Inca case, to support nonfood-producing specialist groups and to provide emergency aid
Wealth Economy
The state-controlled production, storage, and distribution of wealth objects that support the status hierarchy
cognatic line
A descent line that is traced to a common ancestor and that need not rely on exclusively male or female links
Village farmers who provide most of their own subsistence but who must pay taxes and are politically and often, to some extent, economically dependent on the central state government.
A political system in which village farmers occupy lands owned by local lords to whom they owe loyalty, rent, and service
Ancestor Worship
A religious system based on reverence for specific ancestors and sometimes involving shrines, rituals, and sacrifice
Filial Piety
Hsiao, the ritual obligation of children to respect their ancestors, and especially the duty of sons to care for shrines of their partrilineal ancestors
State government based on religious authority or divine guidance. The Chinese emperor was the highest civil and religious leader
Ethnic Group
A dependent, culturally distinct population that forms part of a larger state or empire and that was formally autonomous
Divination by interpreting the pattern of cracks formed in heated animals’ scapula or turtle shells
Liturgical Government
The use of ritually prescribed interpersonal relations and religious, moral authority as a primary means of social control in a state-level society
Malthusian impoverishment, a declining standard of living attributed to continuous population growth on a limited-resource base
Folk-Urban Continuum
Robert Redfield’s concept of a gradual distinction between the Little Tradition culture of rural commoners and the Great Tradition culture of the urban elites in a political-scale culture.
A Spanish term for someone who extends credits or goods to a client who is kept in a debt relationship
An endogamous, ranked, occupationally defined group, known as jati in India, and based on differences in ritual purity and impurity
Ritually superior status; a category in logical opposition to impurity.
Cultural Hegemony
Preponderant influence, or authority, by an elite in the production and reproduction of a society’s moral order and associated cultural beliefs, symbols, and practices
Marriage to someone of higher rank. For example, Hindu women may marry men of a higher subcaste
Marriage to someone of lower rank
Low ritual status attributed to association or contact with polluting biological events or products.