Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Complex Society

Human social group in which social stratification is present, often based on nonkinship criteria, and access to power is restricted to members of the ruling class; power is enforced through rules and sanctions. Complex societies have some form of centralized control over food production, nonfoodproducing specialists, and long-distance trade routes. Some workers consider complex society to be synonymous with stratified society, state, or civilization.

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