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Ritual and Archaic States$
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Joanne M.A. Murphy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062785

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062785.001.0001

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Variation and Change in Archaic States

Variation and Change in Archaic States

Ritual as a Mechanism of Sociopolitical Integration

(p.1) 1 Variation and Change in Archaic States
Ritual and Archaic States

Gary M. Feinman

University Press of Florida

Humans cooperate in social networks that are larger, more complex, and generally exhibit greater diversity than those of other mammals. Though the behaviors and social mechanisms that sustain these often multigenerational arrangements remain incompletely understood, ritual has been proposed as one important factor that contributes to the resilience and reproduction of human social formations. Underpinned by recent interdisciplinary and comparative analyses of ritual and cooperation, the diversity of human ritual practice during the preindustrial past is considered in this chapter with a focus on archaic (preindustrial) states. Concepts for framing variation and change in ritual practice are advanced with particular consideration given to the axes of scale and modes of cooperation.

Keywords:   cooperation, social network, ritual, social mechanisms, diversity, change, variation, behavior

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