SM  Vol.4 No.1 , January 2014
Structures of Human Societies
Author(s) Karl M. van Meter*
ABSTRACT

We have previously shown (“How People See Society: The Network Structure of Public Opinion Concerning Social Conflicts”, Connections, 2004, 26(1): 71-89) that opinions on social conflict are structured in very stable networks at the level of individuals, of arbitrary collections of individuals, of structured social groups and of representative samples of the French population, for more than thirty years. Similar surveys in Great Britain and Russia, for over ten years in Costa Rica, show the stability and extent of application of these results. Our first working hypothesis is that this network structure with two axes openness/closure and emotional/non-emotional—applies to all human societies. For this, we look at recent developments in archaeology, which describe two and only two types of structure for Neolithic human groups: hierarchical structures and cooperative structures. We show that these two types of structure are the poles delimiting the openness/closure axis, that there are no other stable structures, and that human societies can thus be characterized by the set of “tools” elaborated in common, this is, socially, for managing social conflicts inherent in any viable and stable group of human beings. And finally, these “tools” form the system of “values” characteristic of each society.


Cite this paper
Meter, K. (2014). Structures of Human Societies. Sociology Mind, 4, 36-44. doi: 10.4236/sm.2014.41005.
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