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Describe the Traditional Societies as Political System.

Describe the Traditional Societies as Political System.

Course: ba sociology

1 Answer

The Traditional Societies has an element of political organization and some form of political centralization.  Such societies are normally based around powerful
Chiefs and may involve the development of Clans kinship-based political and economic networks. In this respect, State-like societies are normally headed by an individual (usually, but not necessarily, male) to whom the population owe allegiance. In this type of society we find the development of a system of localized Chiefs into a Monarchy (involving such statuses as King, Queen, Emperor and so forth).

In addition, the main features of this type of society include:

  • An elaborate Royal Court / Household.
  • Standing armies (organized for internal social control and foreign conquest).
  • Some form of legal system (nominally, if not always realistically, operating on a national territorial basis). This usually involves some form of full-time, paid, officials (a “Civil Service” of sorts, although not in the way that we would conceive of such an organization in present-day Britain).
  • A system of State Taxation.

It is also useful to note that in such societies, territorial boundaries may start to become relatively fixed, although frequently subject to dispute. Chiefs usually owe their power/ authority to their status as a warrior, priest or both and are able to command armed retainers to enforce their decisions. In this respect, the rule of a Chief in such societies usually involves the assistance of a Council or Court (which, in the, main, will be kinship based).


The earliest forms of the state emerged whenever it became possible to centralize power in a durable way. Agriculture is almost everywhere associated with this process. Agriculture allowed for the production and storing of a surplus. This in turn allowed and encouraged the emergence of a class of people who controlled and protected the agricultural stores and thus dirt not have to spend most of their time providing for their own subsistence. The surplus production allow some wealthy individuals to became more powerful than others, This leads to the emergence of political institutions in the form of chieftainships. Warfare is more common in traditional societies.

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December 22, 2018