Flashcards for Social Control
Topic 2:  Warfare
(12 cards)

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Copyright © 2004 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.

The two primate species that are known to commit genocide.

humans and chimpanzees

The gender or sex that is most often involved in violent physical fighting among humans.


(as defined in this tutorial)

Prolonged hostility and occasional fighting between individuals and their supporters. It is a form of aggression that mostly occurs between members of the same society, though it can occur between people from separate societies as well. It is caused by a desire for revenge for a perceived prior wrong. Usually, both sides in feuds believe that they have been wronged and seek to settle the score. Inherent in feuds is a failure in communication between the feuding parties and the belief that there needs to be "an eye for an eye."


(as defined in this tutorial)

Surprise predatory attacks directed against other communities or societies. The primary objective of raiding usually is to plunder and then to escape unharmed with the stolen goods. In some societies, the goal is also to kill men in the target community as well as kidnap women and children. Raiding is an organized form of aggression in that raids are planned in advance. Raids occur in a finite time period--they are rarely sustained activities.


(as defined in this tutorial)

Organized, large-scale combat usually between clearly recognizable armies. A significant portion of a population takes part in combat or support activities, often for years. Soldiers are trained and equipped for combat. Warfare is an organized and sustained form of fighting.

The reason that the Dani people of Papua New Guinea have carried out a perpetual blood feud.

The spirit of one of their people who has been killed in a feud will not rest until he or she is revenged by living relatives killing someone in the enemy group.


An Italian word that literally means vengeance. It is now used in Italian and English to describe a persistent blood feud.

The kinds of fighting that are found in all types of societies.

(Think in terms of feuding, raiding, and warfare.)

only feuding

The kinds of societies in which raiding mostly occurs.

Pastoral societies (especially in East Africa), historic horse riding buffalo hunting tribes of the North American Great Plains, and some small-scale farming societies (e.g., the Yanomamö and other lowland forest people of South America)

The kinds of societies in which large-scale warfare most often occurs.

Large-scale farming or industrial societies. These are the only kinds of societies that can afford to have large numbers of men not be involved in food production for prolonged periods of time. They can also afford to have large numbers of men killed or wounded without major disruptions to their economies.

How long ago the first known large-scale warfare occurred.

About 5,500-4,500 years ago when chiefdoms were growing in power and evolving into the first ancient states.

The reasons that the earliest states went to war with their neighbors.

In many cases, there was a desire to gain or control more land and other important resources. At other times, the goal was simply the conquest or even outright destruction of another people. Many wars were motivated by religious or political ideals. Revenge was also a key factor. There is one final common trait found among early states that were beginning to wage wars of conquest against neighboring states. That was considerable population pressure and a growing scarcity of land, water, or other essential resources.