Big man- a self-made leader in a small-scale society. His position is temporary, depending on personal ability and consent of his followers. Chiefdom- a politically organised society with a permanent head, usually with one layer of control over more than one local community. The importance of social control In any society, there are laws which must be observed, penalties that punish their infraction, and procedures that can be called upon to judge guilt or innocence, impose sentences, and provide recompense.

These form a holistic system of social control, ithout which no form of society could be maintained. To be effective, however, a system of social control must be accompanied by the socially mandated authority and power to ensure that it functions smoothly. Allocating to some of society«s members the authority and power to regulate the behaviour of others by setting common goals, changing them, enforcing them, and preventing and resolving conflict is termed politics.

Every society, therefore, designates certain individuals (and often groups as well), by formal or informal means, to exercise eadership and control over others: to establish and maintain the society»s priorities (sometimes called policies); to prevent, limit, or resolve conflicts between individuals or groups; to dissuade or punish those who challenge the social order, and to direct change.

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These individuals or groups assume or are granted power and authority denied to others. Power- the capacity to control the behaviour of others, using means such as education, persuasion, coercion, punishment or reward. Power may be based on physical strength, wealth, or efficient organisation. Or it may be based on superior knowledge; in some societies, only certain people- priests or hereditary rulers, for example- are allowed access to certain kinds of information.

Authority- the socially ranted right to exercise power. Ordinarily, authority is conveyed to an individual through an office, a position in which a certain kind and amount of authority is inherent and which exists independently of its occupant at any given time. Theoretically, authority can exist without power, although it would be useless; and power can be exercised without authority. But for social order, both are needed.


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