Ghorbat - Sociopolitical Organization



The Ghorbat community was, in principle, egalitarian, although, in exceptional situations, hierarchical feelings could develop between lineages, and even within lineages between descent groups. There was no superordinate political structure and no permanent or hereditary positions of leadership or decision-making power at any level; the only few commonly recognized offices of authority were temporary and specifically goal oriented.

Social Control and Conflict. Social control was maintained by a value system that placed a premium on compromising, and thus minimizing conflict. Institutions of mutual financial and social help gave additional support to this system. Given the marginal socioeconomic position of the community as a whole, the Ghorbat were also obliged to avoid conflicts with the greater society; this was achieved largely by acquiring locally influential rural and urban clients, who, on occasion, interceded on their behalf and helped in other ways. The go-betweens in such situations of potential conflict with outsiders were usually Ghorbat women.


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