What are the Characteristics of Civilization?

Characteristics of Civilizations has to do with the systems that arise due to larger and more diverse groups living in fixed locations (like cities). In fact, the word civilization means ‘those who dwell in cities’. One of the primary characteristics of civilizations is that they have complex political structures. The have larger gaps between the social classes and therefore develop more complex social structures. This is due to the greater number of people and the fact that they are more diverse. Smaller social groups have less complex political and social structures because they are smaller in number and much less diverse (or more homogeneous). Smaller groups need less structure than large diverse groups. Possession ownership is higher. Those living in cities tend to own land, dwellings, and other things. This is due to the fact that they remain in that area for longer periods of time and therefore ownership takes on a higher value. Nomadic groups possess few things because they are often on the move. Therefore, having fewer things facilitates frequent moves. Monetary systems tend to be highly developed in civilizations versus tribal or nomadic groups that can do better with barter and direct trade of goods or services, or tend to share things more readily.

Characteristics of Civilizations

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Last updated: 04/06/2018


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