Types of Societies
A society is made up of people living within defined territorial boarders who share a common culture. A society is independent of outsiders; it contains many smaller social structures that are needed to meet the needs of its members. Some of the social structures include family, economy and religion. Societies meet their members’ basic needs, such as the needs for food and shelter, in different ways. Anthropologists used these differences to form the basis of a system that is they often use to classify societies. The system classifies societies as preindustrial, industrial, or postindustrial. Preindustrial societies could be independent and self-sufficient. One common preindustrial society is the hunting and gathering society. This society survives by hunting animals and gathering edible plants such as wild fruits and vegetables. Hunting and gathering societies are usually nomadic, and this is the reason that they have few material goods. They also tend to be very small, with members scattered over a wide area. They have no social classes and no political institutions. Another is a horticultural society, which survives primarily through the growing of plants. It came into being about ten to twelve thousand years ago, when people learned that they could grow and harvest certain plants. People were then able to stay in one place; they no longer had to move as much as they used to in order to find food. The primary emphasis is on providing for household members. In pastoral societies, food is obtained primarily by raising and taking care of animals, usually herd animals like cattle, camels, goats, and sheep. All of these animals provide both milk and meat. In this society, the women remain at home while the men take the herds to different pastures. Men are responsible for providing food making the status of women in pastoral societies low. These societies are male dominated. Since horticultural and pastoral societies produce...
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