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Title:Households and Hegemony: An Analysis of Historic Creek Culture Change
Author(s):Wesson, Cameron Braxton
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lewis, R. Barry
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:Culture change in the post-contact Southeast is often defined through the analysis of large socio-political movements and unique historical events, without an appreciation for the role of smaller social groups and individual social actors. This dissertation assesses Creek culture change through the analysis of Atasi Phase (A.D. 1600-1715) and Tallapoosa Phase (A.D. 1715-1836) households in central Alabama. Research reveals alterations in the material, social, and behavioral composition of Creek households, as well as changes in the nature of Creek social relationships. Increases in the size and number of household food storage facilities, greater access to Euroamerican trade goods, a decrease in domestic structure size, and changes in settlement structure are shown to represent the desire of individual households to garner increased social and economic independence for themselves at the expense of existing cultural institutions. Such changes represented significant challenges to the power of social elites and the principle of hereditary social inequality, threatening the basis of traditional chiefly authority. Escalating reliance upon strategies designed to advance the economic status of households is shown to be a powerful explanatory model for the cultural changes experienced by the historic Creek. Ultimately, historic Creek culture change is demonstrated to be have been shaped by the choices made by individuals and small-scale social units rather than merely the result of larger social and political events.
Issue Date:1997
Description:224 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737286
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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