2. Introduction to PERCI and PERCI notes on Early Human Societies (Scavengers/Hunter-Gatherers, Pastoral Nomads, and Agriculturalists.
PERCI is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Religious, Cultural, and Intellectual. We use these categories as a framework to better make sense of the different groups we study. It also allows us to compare and contrast groups over time and space.
POLITICAL - Who makes decisions in this society? How are the leaders chosen? How is government structured? Is the government centralized or decentralized? Does the government have absolute power?
ECONOMIC - What economic activities do people practice? What type of trade is conducted? How is wealth accumulated and passed down?
RELIGIOUS - Is the religion monotheist or polytheist? Is god abstract or animist? Who are the holy people and what is their role?
CULTURAL - How is the culture structured (social classes)? What social and gender roles are a part of society? What are the key beliefs and values of the culture, and how are they manifested? What is the language and writing system?
INTELLECTUAL - What knowledge did this group innovate? What inventions and breakthroughs were made by this group. On what is their knowledge based?