Abstract and Keywords
Guided by neo-evolutionary perspectives, archaeologists traditionally viewed societal development as a series of progressive stages that comprised bands, tribes and chiefdoms, and states. Contemporary research regarding the formation of incipient political institutions draws on concepts from modern social theory that emphasizes the importance of agency and history as central dimensions in the constitution and transformation of human societies and their various political forms. By refocusing what one studies as “chiefdoms,” this article stimulates new avenues for investigating the social construction of identity and the emergence of cacicazgos in the Antilles. It also suggests that future research should be tempered by research questions that view aspects of social and political life as emergent, recursive, and historically situated processes.
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