Characteristics Of Egalitarian Society

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Egalitarianism is achieved when people have an equal, direct, and independent access to resources, such as food, water, and means of mobility, without the imposition of an authority figure over the rest of the group. Egalitarian living has been observed for decades by anthropologists in certain hunter-gathering communities. However, it is important to clarify that not all hunter-gathering societies are egalitarian, as there are certain characteristics which are necessary for the achievement of an egalitarian society. For example, although it might seem irrelevant at first, the geographical location of these groups is actually quite important. In fact, many of these egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities can be found in Africa, Southeast …show more content…
This aspect of egalitarian societies is particularly relevant when looking for equality in the relationship between men and women. Sexual egalitarianism can be easily observed in different hunter-gather societies, such as the !Kung and the Batek Negrito of Malaysia. Among the Batek, there can be de-facto leaders in some groups, but they are not institutionalised figures, which is very important for sexual equality because there is no one who can decide which activities are more important or valuable than others. In this society, women can choose who to marry and initiate divorce freely, and neither spouse can claim specific authority over their children (Endicott, 1981). That can also be seen among the !Kung, where women contribute to the group’s diet mainly by foraging, but that is not seen as an inferior activity to hunting, which is usually considered a male activity. They also have control over the food they gather and are free to move and travel as they wish, without having to refer to a male authority, which simply does not exist (Draper, 1975). Men and women usually share the same spaces, as well as some activities inside the community and no group exerts any kind of dominance over the

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