From gender to class: Inequality in prehistoric Italy.

Show simple item record Robb, John E. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Wright, Henry T. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Yoffee, Norman en_US 2014-02-24T16:23:08Z 2014-02-24T16:23:08Z 1995 en_US
dc.identifier.other (UMI)AAI9542944 en_US
dc.identifier.uri en_US
dc.description.abstract Current approaches to prehistoric inequality, involving production and accumulation as determinants of stratification, are logically and empirically questionable. This dissertation examines the practice-theory concept of social reproduction as an alternative theoretical framework for understanding inequality. Within this framework, this work addresses the question: what was the nature of inequality in Italy between the Neolithic and the Iron Age? To answer these questions, published archaeological data and original human skeletal data were used to assess several dimensions of inequality. In addition to various osteological conclusions about health and lifestyle, several conclusions about inequality were reached. 1. Burial and settlement data reveal little political hierarchy prior to the Final Bronze Age. 2. Economic data show little centralized production or accumulation of wealth before the Final Bronze Age. Skeletal data suggest economic intensification from the end of the Neolithic, with pastoralism intensified in the Copper Age and plow agriculture in the Bronze Age. Trade in exotic items increased in the Final Neolithic and again in the Late Bronze Age. 3. Based upon art and burial data, symbolic inequality before the Final Bronze Age consisted of gender asymmetry, with weapons, hunting and plowing as symbols of valued male statuses. In the Iron Age, gender symbols were used to express status distinctions as well, creating an ideology of military aristocracy. Inequality in prehistoric Italy thus evolved from ideological to political/ economic forms. In the Copper and Bronze Ages, inequality took the form of an "egalitarian" Big Man style competition for male prestige from which females were excluded. Only in the Final Bronze and Iron Ages did politically stratified patron-client societies arise. Theoretically, this reconstruction demonstrates that the concept of social reproduction resolves several important theoretical problems. It relates social inequality to individuals' strategic choices in pursuing culturally prescribed goals and prestige through conventional institutions. It also helps elucidate how individual actors' decisions can maintain or change a hegemonic cultural system; for instance, Iron Age stratification probably arose through the application of traditional political behaviors--male prestige competition--in novel economic and social circumstances. en_US
dc.format.extent 599 p. en_US
dc.subject Anthropology, Archaeology en_US
dc.subject Anthropology, Physical en_US
dc.title From gender to class: Inequality in prehistoric Italy. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Anthropology en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.description.filedescription Description of 9542944.pdf : Restricted to UM users only. en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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