Composition: Sociology and Conceptual Order Essay

Submitted By 1009200045QqCom
Words: 316
Pages: 2

Power and the Gurung One of the dilemmas social scientists face is whether to sacrifice complexity for conceptual order and how much sacrifice must be made. Anthropologists usually favor complexity while sociologists tend to go for conceptual order (Gilbert 197). Like their sociologist sisters and brothers, the anthropologists that emphasize social structure, particularly the ones from the Victorian Age, favor conceptual order. Societies are cast as one thing or another: modern or traditional; categories that stand in contrast with each other (Monaghan & Just 67). But of course, societies have never been static. They adapt to changing environments and circumstances. This is true of the Gurung, the ethnic people located in the central valleys of the Himalayas in Nepal that Ernestine McHugh reports on in her ethnography Living and Loving in the Himalayas. McHugh’s research took place between 1973 and 1987 and was situated primarily in the rural village of Tebas. Her study was on family and kinship and only indirectly about power. But is the power aspect that interests me. Although much of her data seems to support the view that the Gurung experience of power was mostly in the form of traditional systems of family, kin, and clan, there is sufficient evidence throughout the text to show that as it is with societies that are determinedly modern, the Gurung society experiences of power transcended local networks, affected as they were by pressures brought about by…