A-Level Coursework: Social Anthropology Course

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Social Anthropology

Economic Systems:

Generally, there are three major types of economic systems in human communities: capitalism, socialism, and communism. Capitalism emphasizes private ownership, private accumulation of wealth through personal initiative, the relative freedom from government in business, and the natural dynamic of supply and demand. Socialism emphasizes governmental involvement, ownership, and responsibility for major aspects of society and in the maintenance of the general welfare in many respects that are left to private initiative and responsibility in capitalist societies. Communism emphasizes government control of production, the elimination of social classes, and the uniformity of wealth and reciprocal benefits of the individual as a part of society. Traditionally, the three types of societies are highly critical of one another with the greatest tension and mistrust existing between the two polar opposite capitalists and communists.

Political Relations:

Order and power are the defining elements of human societies in relation to the individual. Social order is maintained by the accepted social authorities within a culture through the power of position. Generally, elder members of kinship groups occupy those positions within tribal societies, and tribunals comprising clan leaders from multiple tribes fulfill that role with tribal confederations. Inherited nobility is the traditional basis of authority and power in kingdoms, and within states, publicly elected heads of state establish and maintain authority in democracies and republics, while dictators establish and maintain power through force or the implied threat of force. Generally, the four fundamental functions of society are large populations, some degree of centralized government, socio-economic classes, and some form of market economy.

3. Religion:

In objective principle, there is little conceptual distinction between religion and magic, as both are maintained by doctrinal beliefs passed down from generation to generation and accepted a-priori without critical analysis. Principals of social evolution shape the specific cultural practices and beliefs of magical societies in a manner that allows those concepts to provide some of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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