Chapter

Building the Nation

Eric R. Wolf

in Pathways of Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223332
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924871 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223332.003.0007
Building the Nation

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Anthropology has increasingly widened its field, to include not only primitive contemporaries but much more highly organized cultures as well. The processes entailed in the formation of a stratified society, whether due to conquest or to internal development, involve the growth of new culturally patterned relationships that permit the accommodation of the different groups to each other. The nation is the product of drawn-out and often painful processes of cultural growth in time and space. This chapter considers nation development schematically by tracing the ecology, social structure, and character of internal acculturation in terms of three stages: localized nuclear development, territorial consolidation, and the nation. The nature of the new social and cultural structure will depend in large measure on the general type and specific characteristics of the sociocultural groups involved, as well as on the mode of their cultural interaction.

Keywords: cultural growth; stratified society; localized nuclear development; territorial consolidation; nation

Chapter.  6863 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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