segmentary societies

Segmentary societiesclick for a larger image
Fig. 27 Segmentary societies. At each level, membership of a descent group (A; A/B; A/B/C/D; etc.) defines the basis of allegiance and mutual support(e.g. in feuds).

segmentary societies

forms of STATELESS SOCIETY, whose fundamental mode of social organization is a lineage system in which descent group membership is defined in terms of, sometimes notional, common ancestors (apical ancestor). Such systems, involve a hierarchical structure, which at each level defines expected bases of membership and opposition (see Fig. 27). A classical account of such a system is EVANS-PRITCHARD's (1940) account of the Nuer. However, this account, and the concept of segmentary society in general, has been criticized as presenting only an ‘ideal’ model of social relationships in such societies. see also SEGMENTARY STATES.
References in periodicals archive ?
8) Hudson's classification seems to agree with that of Robin Horton, who in his study of segmentary societies established dispersed and nucleated settlements as the patterns among segmentary societies.
This sort of organization helps to "affirm the rights of segmentary societies in opposition to the organs of State power.
Generally, there are two types of indigenous leadership systems among segmentary societies in the South Pacific: clan leadership in Melanesia and chief leadership in Polynesia (Strathern & Godelier, 1991).
Even were Waltz correct to label the international system as segmentary - a matter for empirical investigation, not theoretical presupposition - it would remain to develop a typology of abnormal segmentary societies.