The study of chiefdoms has moved from a preoccupation with their formal characteristics to a concern with their dynamics as political institutions. The contributors to this volume are interested in how ruling elites retain power through control over production and exchange, and then legitimize that control through an elaborate ideology. The eleven case studies look at particular chiefdoms, originating in specific historical conditions. Despite obvious differences between the chiefdoms, certain common underlying processes are revealed. The collection recognizes how complex and interdependent the sources of power in society are, as well as the forces of instability that constantly threaten to tear the society apart. Chiefdoms offers a rich and varied interpretation of sociopolitical power.
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(228mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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