The Embedding of Encounters



The first human societies were built around small bands of hunter-gatherers organized into nucleated kinship units (composed of mother, father, children). These first societies were obviously not macro in the contemporary sense, but the history of human societies has involved episodic movements toward ever-larger societal and inter-societal formations. This evolution has not been linear, of course; periods of growth and increased complexity have been followed by societal disintegration, only to be reintegrated as new sociocultural formations have been built up. Beginning around 10,000 years ago, however, these episodic cycles became shorter and the scale of societies and inter-societal began to increase across an ever greater proportion of the human population; and today, the evolution of a complex macro level of social reality clearly constrains what individual and corporate actors in a society can do.


Social Reality Status Belief Class Location Normative Expectation Moral Worth 


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© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California at RiversideRiversideUSA

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