Inequalities in "egalitarian" societies: The calculation of real value as a way to visualize social distance

Manuela Pérez-Rodríguez, Assumpció Vila-Mitjà, Jordi Estévez-Escalera

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. The authors propose that the ways in which a society organizes its social relations are the essential principle that characterizes it and distinguishes it from others. The first step is a critical reappraisal of the complex information available regarding quasi-contemporary or ethnographic hunter-gatherer societies. The recurrence of a division of labor according to gender and of social inequality between the sexes is noted. The aim of this study is to understand the mechanisms of the emergence and acceptance of social inequality and the asymmetrical prestige it generates in simple societies without evident formal hierarchies. An attempt was made to define the archaeological record needed to advance the evaluation of the asymmetrical sexual division of labor. A methodological approach was implemented that was termed "experimental ethno-archaeology" for the study of the Yamana Society in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). The archaeological methodology was rethought and refined, in all its breadth and depth, and the preliminary results were revealed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Intangible Elements of Culture in Ethnoarchaeological Research
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Archaeological methodology
    • Inequality
    • Theory hunter-gatherers
    • Value


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