pastoralism and pastoral society
pastoralism and pastoral societya mode of subsistence economy and social organization, as among the Nuer of southern Sudan, in which the main livelihood is gained by tending flocks and herds of domesticated animals by moving on a regular basis or wandering with them in search of pasture. It has been suggested that pastoralism tends to be associated with egalitarianism and independence of mind (Spooner, 1973), but also with patriarchy Whatever the truth of this, pastoralism and nomadic herding societies (see NOMADS AND NOMADISM) have historically been a frequent source of threat to more settled and more urban forms of society, and sometimes have been seen as a source of renewal within these – as for example, by the classical Arab social theorist Khaldun. see also AGRARIAN SOCIETY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000