Marriage and Inequality in Classless Societies

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This study presents three ideal type models for analysing inequality in kin-based, nonstratified societies that are commonly described as bands, tribes, or ranked societies (but not chiefdoms). Each model discusses the organisation of inequality associated with a particular way of validating marriages. The book is a serious and complex effort to understand the bases and dynamics of inequality in classless societies. It is the most sophisticated argument to date for the position that there is a culturally structured basis for women's universal subordination. An important strength of Collier's theoretical interpretation is that it makes the case for universality of subordination without slipping into biological reductionism.