Answer to Question #200667 in Sociology for Coral

Question #200667

How do heads of lineages maintain law and order in traditional communities, and

what explains the comparative efficacy of their administration?

Expert's answer

Heads of lineages are chosen in a community depending on their age and ability to share wisdom with other members of the community and the ability to uphold the moral values of the community. In the community, some laws are placed to guide the members' behavior. Therefore the heads of lineage are the custodians of the community rules and regulations. They were therefore given authority to exercise their duties of leadership. Heads of lineage were able to hold meetings whenever issues arose in the community. For example, in a case of theft, the head could summon his youths who could do an investigation to find the suspects of theft. After finding the suspect, the victim could be interrogated to find out the truth behind the person. When proven guilty then, the suspect could be punished by flogging given difficult manual work to rectify the mistake.

The heads were also allowed to banish members of the community who could not change from their wrong behaviors. The head could not banish a member alone. He was supposed to call the council of elders to a meeting to discuss the issue. The head could only banish a member when the council of elders mutually agreed to do so. Circumstances under which a member could be banished from a community are when the individual was a sorcerer, a kidnapper, a rapist, or an intentional iller.

By having youths who had the strength to carry out disciplinary duties, their administrative duties were a success. By having a council of elders who could assist during decision-making, the heads were able to lead people in the right way without intimidation. However, in systems where lineage heads were sole decision-makers, the leadership or administration of the heads were considered as a dictatorship, where no one was allowed to raise a complaint.

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