Household and Political Economy in Ancient Hohokam Society

Author(s): William Graves

Year: 2017


Examining household-level economic behaviors has long been a means for archaeologists to explore social and political organization in ancient Hohokam society. In this presentation, I reflect on the training and influence of Katherine Spielmann in my thinking about the economic roots of inequality in small- scale societies and begin to outline an explicitly political-economic framework to explore the structure and bases of power among the Hohokam of southern Arizona. The Hohokam household was the locus of crucial relations of production and it was households who controlled both the means of production and productive labor. I argue that Hohokam households exploited production and labor to compete with one another for political power. Inequality was created and experienced through a relative ranking of households based on control, exploitation, and competition. Understanding changes in the relations of production and how production and labor may have been controlled can help us model changes in the nature of power and the experience of inequality throughout Hohokam history.

Cite this Record

Household and Political Economy in Ancient Hohokam Society. William Graves. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430953)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16083