Social Organization. The Sarakatsani kindred constitutes a network of shared obligations and, to a degree, cooperation in situations concerning the honor of its members. Within the summer villages they are conscious, as well, of their opposition to non-Sarakatsani neighbors. However, the organizational unit of most profound importance is that smaller collection of kin and affines that constitutes the stani, for survival depends upon the members of this group. Care of the flocks requires, minimally, the cooperative efforts of five or so active, adult men.
Political Organization. The Sarakatsani do not constitute an independent political unit within the larger Greek polity, nor even within the local village. Dealings with authorities, whether local or national, tend to be conducted in terms of patronage, which is sought, and extended, to individual families.
Social Control and Conflict. The concept of "honor" is of great importance to the Sarakatsani. The behavior of any member of a family reflects back upon all its members. Therefore, the avoidance of negative public opinion, particularly as expressed in gossip, provides a strong incentive to live up to the values and standards of propriety held by the community as a whole. Men have as their duty the protection of the family's honor, and are therefore watchful of the behavior of the rest of the household. In the wider field of village and national interests, the Sarakatsani are subject to local statutes and Greek law.