Canarians - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. In the past, networks of bilateral kin in the village associations linked individuals of different Social classes through religious and/or work ties ( hermandades and cofradías ). Neighboring associations often organize Several social activities. Also important are the Carnival associations, in which men and women of all ages take part. Political Organization. The Canary Islands are divided into two provinces in the Spanish political system, with the entire archipelago forming an autonomous community. Political activity centers on the political parties. The provinces take part in the Spanish parliament and senate. The Canarian parliament is elected by insular electoral districts, and this parliament elects the Canarian government. The government of each island is the cabildo, a traditional institution that also has a role in relations with the state government. Actually, cabildos have lost some of their importance as government institutions, but they are still important in the coordination of insular investments. Traditionally, political clients were significant, and through this system wealthy men had a large network of social and political contacts.

Social Control. Deferential behavior in relation to elders is especially important. A son must ask for his father's blessing as a sign of respect and submission. Inappropriate behaviors, mainly those associated with drunkenness, may lead to ostracism and a loss of public respect.

Conflict. Disputes about boundaries or properties were the most common conflicts in the rural areas. Different types of conflicts between bordering villages were also frequent, although they were generally expressed in the fiestas and sport competitions.

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