Segmentary societies | Article about segmentary societies by The Free Dictionary
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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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." (p.
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).