Socialization is an everyday process, which every human being encounters. The method of socialization is interacting with other human beings and through this social interaction, creating a society in which both sexes form an organized group that share a common interest. Every society has its own beliefs, customs, traditions, economic approach, political approach, etc. This is what is known as the ideology of the society. Ideology in simple terms is the “beliefs that form the basis of political, economic, or other systems in a society”i.
Each society has its own ideology and it is put into effect as best as possible for the benefit of the citizens. In this paper I will describe how the ideology in Band and Tribal societies are similar and how they reflect that of an Egalitarian social structure; a society that favours social equality. Band societies, the earliest form of societies employ the method of hunter and gatherer as a method of attaining the necessities for survival. In this case, the male is the one who hunts for meat and delivers it back to his family and/or community.
The female on the other hand takes care of more traditional roles such as taking care of the children, picking vegetables and preparing the food. This type of society is also found in Tribal societies. By hunting and gathering, it is evident that in Tribal and Band societies, roles seem to be pretty much equal. Such is the case in an Egalitarian society. An Egalitarian society promotes equal ness in political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.
Hunting and gathering is also part of the egalitarian social structure, which as well thrives on equal ness. Due to the hunter and gatherer method, it is evident to see that the ideology behind Band and Tribal societies are a reflection of the equal ness in the Egalitarian social structure. Part of the equal ness that links all three societies together has to do with the social stratification of each of the societies. In Band and Tribal societies, the type of Social stratification that is attached is a classless society.
“Families have roughly equal access to productive resources”ii. In these societies, there are strong traditions of sharing food and goods and achieving equality. These societies reflect and Egalitarian social structure because an Egalitarian society has a classless system as well. Everyone is on the same level. There are no middle or upper class citizens. All three societies “allow approximately equal access to, or control over, the productive resources needed to sustain life”iii.
A third factor in which the ideology of Band and Tribal societies coincide with and reflect that of an Egalitarian society is in the division of power. In both Band and Tribal societies, there is no formal, centralized political system. “Both Tribal and Band societies have limited roles of political leadership that involve the ability to influence people, but not actual power roles in which leaders can compel people to obey. “iv(p. 187, Landstreet).
This ideology is similar to that of an Egalitarian society. There is no single leader or political party, which makes decisions, passes bills or decides on the future of the tribe. Instead, in all three societies, leadership is achieved by an individual’s skill and their ability to communicate to the citizens that his/her method of organization should be followed. “Thus leadership is based on skill rather than the power of an inherited status”v.
By analyzing the ideology of equal ness that is distributed in Band and Tribal societies, one certainly notices that the methods used in hunting and gathering, social stratification and the division of power are all a reflection of those found in the Egalitarian social structure. All three societies encourage the sharing of food, tools and resources. Accumulating personal possessions, or to set oneself above other members of the group is discouraged and the division of power leaves decisions up to the citizens themselves, thereby creating an equal society where citizens abide by rules and live a life of fairness and equal opportunity.
www. dictionary. com ii Landstreet, Peter. Societies: A Comparitive and Evolutionary Approach. Toronto, 2001. (p. 153) iii Landstreet, Peter. Societies: A Comparitive and Evolutionary Approach. Toronto, 2001. (p. 186) iv Landstreet, Peter. Societies: A Comparitive and Evolutionary Approach. Toronto, 2001. (p. 187) v Landstreet, Peter. Societies: A Comparitive and Evolutionary Approach. Toronto, 2001.