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Age Class Systems
Social Institutions and Polities Based on Age


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: January 1986
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521314824

£ 34.99

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About the Authors
  • All societies are differentiated by age. But in some, this differentiation takes the form of institutionalized, formally graded age classes, the members of which share an assigned 'structural' age, if not necessarily the same physiological age. The nature of formal age group systems has become one of the classic issues in modern social anthropology, although until now there has been no comprehensive explication of these complex forms of social organization. In this book, Bernardo Bernardi, one of the pioneers of the anthropological study of age class systems, provides a way of making sense of the diversity of such systems by analysing cross-culturally their common features and the pattern of their differences, and showing that they serve a general purpose for the organization of society and for the distribution and rotation of power.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1986
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521314824
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Translator's preface
    1. Characteristics of age class systems
    2. The anthropological study of age class systems
    3. Legitimation and power in age class systems
    4. The choice of ethnographic models
    5. The initiation model
    6. The initiation-transition model
    7. The generational model
    8. The residential model
    9. The regimental model
    10. The choreographic model
    11. Women and age class systems
    12. The ethnemic significance of the age class system
    13. History and changes in age class systems

  • Author

    Bernardo Bernardi


    David I. Kertzer

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