Drawing upon the author’s extensive field research among pastoral peoples in the Middle East, India, and the Mediterranean, and on more than 30 years of comparative study of pastoralists around the world, Pastoralists is an authoritative synthesis of the varieties of pastoral life. At an ethnographic level, the concise volume provides detailed analyses of divergent types of pastoral societies, including segmentary tribes, tribal chiefdoms, and peasant pastoralists. At the same time, it addresses a set of substantive theoretical issues: ecological and cultural variation, equality and inequality, hierarchy and the basis of power, and state power and resistance. The book validates “pastoralists” as a conceptual category even as it reveals the diversity of societies, subsistence strategies, and power arrangements subsumed by that term.
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