Politicization and community in the pre-columbian mississippi valley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For three decades, "settlement archaeology" recognized households and communities as building blocks of societies (Clarke 1977; Parsons 1972; Trigger 1967). In the Mississippi valley, this building-block approach was used to isolate research problems with considerable success (e.g. Bareis and Porter, 1984; Morse and Morse 1983; Smith 1978a). Unfortunately, a practical if not theoretical consequence of the study of households and communities there, and everywhere, is the reification of these social phenomena as static types. As a result, households become the smallest units of economic coordination, and communities become clusters of cooperating households. Society, then, evolves because of the adaptive pressures to coordinate and cooperate at the level of households and communities (see Johnson and Earle 1987: 18).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Communities
Subtitle of host publicationA New World Perspective
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781135125363
ISBN (Print)041522277X, 9780415222778
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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