BOEHM, Christopher ; Harold B. Barclay; Robert Knox Dentan; Marie-Claude Dupre; Jonathan D. Hill; Susan Kent; Bruce M. Knauft; Keith F. Otterbein; Steve Rayner "Egalitarian Behavior and Reverse Dominance Hierarchy [and Comments and Reply]"

BARCLAY, HaroldPolitics. HierarchyAnthropology and ethnology

Current Anthropology, Vol. 34, No.3. (Jun., 1993), pp. 227-254.

Publisher’s summary

Egalitarian society is "explained" chiefly in terms of ecological

or social factors that are self-organizing. However, egalitarian behavior

is found in a wide variety of social and ecological settings,

and the indications are that such societies are deliberately

shaped by their members. This paper looks to egalitarian behavior

as an instance of domination of leaders by their own followers,

who are guided by an ethos that disapproves of hierarchical

behavior in general and of bossiness in leaders in particular. A

substantial cross-cultural survey reveals the specific mechanisms

by which the political rank and file creates a reverse dominance

hierarchy, an anomalous social arrangement whicb has important

implications for cross-phylogenetic comparisons and for the

theory of state formation.