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Bourdieu's theory of practice is again a large influence in A Dual-Processual Theory for the Evolution of Mesoamerican Civilization (Blanton, et. al.). They focus on process rather than stages or categories to explain variations between social formations and their changes through time. They advocate a political behavioral theory of social change, seeing two main types of political power strategies accounting for variation among societies of similar complexity and scale; exclusionary (or network) and corporate. The outcome of exclusionary political behavior is the development of patrimonial rhetoric, emphasizing the control of particular individuals based on kinship (found in the archaeological record by portrayals or reference to particular rulers), and a prestige-goods system, resulting in an "international style" in goods and information crossing sociocultural boundaries. The corporate strategy signifies collective representations and ritual based on a societies cosmology.
John Douglas questions the reliability of applying the three common models used to analyze exchange in the archaeological record; World Systems Theory, peer polity interaction, and prestige goods economy. He then explores their expectations and assumptions with data analysis of pre-Paquime mortuary goods from northwest Chihuahua, Mexico. His comparisons demonstrate inadequacies in all three models, and the author points out that there are many potential explanations for long distance exchanges other than those offered by the three common models in use by archaeologists today. I agree with his recommendation that we have "a more open-ended approach in which exchange is viewed as a search for power contested both within and between societies."
Tammy Stone offers another non-linear perspective of studying non-state agrarian societies in her examination of the Zuni region of the American Southwest using changes in architecture and ceramics. She uses chaos theory to explain extensive and rapid sociopolitical, economic and ritual change (dissipative structures) in her case study.
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