Wallerstein's Three Types Of Social System

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Wallerstein believes that there are only three basic types of social systems. The first he terms as “mini-systems,” these are the small, homogenous societies studied by anthropologists. Hunting and gathering, pastoral, and simple horticultural societies are relatively self-contained economic units, producing all goods and services within the sociocultural system itself. The second type of social system is a “worldempire.” This system has an economy that is based on the extraction of surplus goods and services from outlying districts. Much of this tribute goes to pay for the administrators who extract it and for the military to ensure continued domination, the rest goes to the political rulers at the head of the empire. The third type of social system, according to Wallerstein, are the world-economies. Unlike world-empires, the world-economies have no unified political system; nor is its dominance based on military power alone. However, like a world-empire, a world-economy is based on the extraction of surplus from outlying districts Before the sixteenth century, when Western Europe embarked on a path of capitalist development, “feudalism” dominated West European society. Between 1150-1300, both population as well as commerce expanded within the confines of the feudal system. However, from 1300-1450, this expansion ceased, creating a…show more content…
These countries were under colonization and have a very different history of Europe. They must compete with highly developed countries and are trapped in a state of underdevelopment. Wallerstein argue that Europe was able to prosper by exploiting resources from other places and became wealthy by maintaining economic and military dominance over other nations. He also stated that the states that the exploited nations will never be modernized as long as they are oppressed by Western

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