Among the many topics studied by the anthropologist is the creation and maintaining of what is called the patrilineal band. Julian Steward offers a very distinct view of what it means to be a patrilineal band, and what it takes to keep it alive in his article The Patrilineal Band. Steward illustrates the distinct qualities of the tribes, the possible explanation for their existence including both seemingly right and wrong theories, and of course how different patrilineal bands vary. Among my own concepts of the article are the varying theoretical characteristics involved. From an analytical point of view, the article emphasizes a mainly macro view, along with a strong focus on social process as well as a focus on the stability of the group itself. All of these concepts help to understand the theory but applying the theory to an everyday situation will help even more.
[...] One of the first explanations that Steward says is false is the idea that these tribes borrowed the plan of the patrilineal band from neighboring tribes. This is false because the neighbors of the tribes Steward studied in particular simply were not patrilineal bands. The second of the false theories is the idea that the patrilineal band developed in some archaic culture and was passed down generations. This is false because the patrilineal band is connected to a specific kind of environment and subsistence living. [...]
[...] He leaves out psycho- analysis because that would stray from what he was trying to fully understand about the creation of the patrilineal band. The macro focus of the article is not the only analysis to pay attention to. The social structure being studied in Steward's article is the patrilineal band itself. The social process would be what is happening within the bands. The main focus of the article is on the processes within the structure. Obviously Steward's argument is about how the structure is created, but the social processes are not ignored. [...]
[...] Another key concept of the patrilineal band is the idea of a patrilocal residence. Having a patrilocal residence means that a member's place of residence is based on their father. For example, a man and woman have a son and a daughter. When the son gets married and has children, that new family will remain in that house hold. When the daughter gets married and has children however, the daughter and her new family will have residence at her husband's home. [...]
[...] This takes away from the stability of the group because the children are unnecessary in the survival of the entire family. The children now follow the rules because it is what they are supposed to do because there are punishments that follow for breaking these rules. The stability is no longer based on a sense of survival for all members, it is now based on the idea that, the parents provide so they call the shots. This happens when the population increases because there are now other groups and relationships involved besides the family. [...]
[...] The point of this example is to show how the stability in a group similar to the patrilineal band is forced to change as the population surrounding the groups grows. A family from, let's say, one hundred years ago it rural and most likely farmers. The families around this time produce more children because it is more profitable to have more hands helping out. Each person has their own responsibilities that affect the welfare of the entire family. This brings on the stability of the common family of this time. [...]
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