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Types of Societies


Types of Societies Chapter 4, section 3 Pgs. 73-77 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Types of Societies

Types of Societies
  • Chapter 4, section 3
  • Pgs. 73-77

Types of Society
  • A Group is a set of people who interact on the
    basis of shared expectations and who possess some
    degree of common identity.
  • Sociologists classify societies according to
    Subsistence strategies the way a society uses
    technology to provide for the needs of its members

Sociologists group societies in three broad
categories preindustrial, industrial, or
Preindustrial Societies
  • Preindustrial societies food production- which
    is carried out through the use of human and
    animal labor- is the main economic activity.
  • These societies can be subdivided based on the
    method of producing food.
  • Hunting and gathering
  • Pastoral
  • Horticultural and
  • agricultural

Hunting and Gathering Societies
  • Hunting and Gathering the daily collection of
    wild plants and the hunting of wild animals.
  • Hunter-gatherers move around constantly in search
    of food.
  • Such societies generally consist of less then 60
  • Statuses within the group are relatively equal
    and decisions are reached through general
  • The family is the main social unit, with most
    societal members being related by birth or
  • This type of organization requires the family to
    carry out social functions such as education.

Pastoral Societies
  • Pastoral Societies are a slightly more efficient
    form of subsistence. Rather the searching for
    food on a daily basis members rely on
    domesticated animals to meet their food needs.
  • Pastoralists live a nomadic life moving their
    herds from pasture to pasture.
  • Pastoral societies can support larger
  • Since there is food surpluses, fewer people are
    needed to produce food.
  • Therefore you see a Division of Labor-the
    specialization of individuals in the performance
    of specific economic activities-becomes more
  • Ex. Craft workers, producing tools, weapons,

Pastoral Societies cont.
  • The production of goods encourage trade.
  • Trade in turn creates inequality as some families
    acquire more goods then others.
  • These families often acquire power through their
    increased wealth.
  • Patriarchal society
  • The passing on of property from generation to
    generation helps to centralize wealth and power.
  • In time, hereditary chieftainships-the typical
    form of government in pastoral societies- will

Horticultural Societies
  • Fruits and vegetables grown in garden plots that
    have been cleared from the jungle or forest
    provide the main source of food in a
    horticultural society.
  • Culturalists use human labor and simple tools to
    cultivate land for one or more seasons
  • This allows them to build permanent or
    semi-permanent villages.
  • This size of the village depends on the land
    available for farming.

Horticultural Societies continued
  • Specialized roles that are part of horticultural
    life include those of craftspeople, shamans-or
    religious leaders, and traders
  • As with pastoral societies, surplus in food lead
    to inequalities in wealth and power.
  • Economic and political systems may be stronger
    here because of the more settled nature of a
    horticultural society

Agricultural Societies
  • In an agricultural society animals are used to
    pull plows to till the fields.
  • This technological innovation allows
    agriculturists to plant more crops than is
    possible when only human labor is used.
  • Irrigation is also used to yield more crops.
  • Higher crop yields allows agricultural societies
    to support very large populations.
  • This again leads to specialization, but the
    population size will create cities of these

Agricultural Societies continued
  • As the number of cities increase, power often
    becomes concentrated in the hands of single
  • This power is passed on from generation to
    generation and usually results in hereditary
  • Seperation between church and government
  • Leaders of agriculture societies build powerful
    armies to provide protection from outside attacks
  • With the increase in population, crops and
    specialization (especially trade) there no longer
  • Barter the exchange of a good or service to
    facilitate a trade.

Agricultural Societies continued
  • In place of bartering they use money as the
    medium of exchange.
  • Many develop a writing system to assist
    government, land owners, and traders in keeping
  • Most people belong to one of two groups
  • Landowners or peasants
  • The small group of landowners controls the wealth
    and power.
  • The large peasant group provides the labor on the
    which the landowners wealth and power depend.

Industrial Societies
  • In an industrial society the emphasis shifts from
    production of food to the production of
    manufactured goods.
  • This shift is made possible by changes in
    production methods.
  • The bulk of production is carried out through the
    use of machines.
  • Society dependent upon science and technology to
    produce basic goods and services.

Industrial Societies
  • Industrialization changes the location of work.
  • Production and work move from the home to the
  • How does this change the relationship with who
    you work with??
  • Urbanization- the concentration of the population
    in cities

Industrial Societies differences
  • In pre-industrial societies the family is the
    primary social institutions but in industrial
    societies education and production take place
    outside the home.
  • The role of religion changes as well in
    industrial societies where scientific ideas often
    challenge religious beliefs.

Industrial Societies differences
  • One positive effect is that it brings people more
    freedom to compete for social position. In
    pre-industrial societies most social statuses are
    ascribed thus it is difficult to move up. In
    industrial societies most statuses are achieved
    and individuals have more control over their
    position in the social structure.

Post-industrial Societies
  • The United States is a post-industrial society.
  • Post industrial- much of the economy is involved
    in providing information and services.
  • In the U.S. 75 of the workforce is involved in
    these activities.
  • In contrast 2 of the workers are employed by
    agriculture and nearly 25 are employed in the
    production of goods.

Post-industrial Societies continued
  • The standard of living and the quality of life
    improves as wages increase for much of the
  • Post industrial societies place strong emphasis
    on the roles of science and education in society.
  • Technological advances are viewed as key to the
    future of society.
  • The rights of individuals and the search for
    personal fulfillment take on importance.
  • Belief in these rights lead to a strong emphasis
    on social equality and democracy.

Post Industrial Society
  • Economic emphasis is on providing services and
    information rather than on producing goods
    through basic manufacturing.
  • Daniel Bell suggested 5 features of this society.
  • For the first time majority of labor force are
    employed in services rather than in agriculture
    or manufacturing.

Daniel Bell cont.
  • White collar employment replaces much blue collar
  • Technical knowledge is the key organizing feature
    in post industrial
  • Technological change is planned and assessed.
  • Computer modeling is relied up in all areas.

Contrasting Societies
  • According to Durkheim, pre-industrial societies
    are held together by mechanical solidarity.
  • Mechanical Solidarity mean that when people
    share the same values and perform the same tasks
    they become united in a common whole.
  • As the division of labor within societies becomes
    more complex this gives way to organic
  • Organic solidarity refers to impersonal social
    relationships that arise with increased job
    specialization in which individuals no longer
    provide for all of their own needs and become
    dependent on others for aspects of survival.

Contrasting Societies
  • Ferdinand Tonnies studied the differences between
    simple and complex societies.
  • He introduced the ideas of
  • Gemeinschaft which is the German word for
    community and
  • Gesellschaft which if the German word for society.

  • Most members know one another
  • Relationships are closer and activities center on
    family and community.
  • People share a strong sense of solidarity.
  • A pre-industrial society or a rural village in a
    more complex society are examples of
  • Tradition, kinship, intimate social relationships

  • Based on need rather then on emotion
  • Relationships are impersonal and often temporary.
  • Traditional values are weakened and individuals
    goals are more important then group goals
  • A modern urban society such as the U.S. is a good
    example of this.
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