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Title: An archaeology of group dynamics
Author: Gregory, Katherine Mary
ISNI:       0000 0001 3518 3394
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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Individual people act and make decisions, yet the outcome viewed archaeologically is the aggregate of their myriad choices. This work provides a coherent and illustrated method for interpreting the observed outcome by deriving causal models based upon the dynamics of the individual behaviour in the context of the group. Drawing on multi-disciplinary theoretical and empirical input, an understanding of the expression of sociality and the social patterns which compound to the cultural environment within which people act is presented. From that understanding, the foundation of group dynamics theory is built, providing a model of social structure which defines the interaction between individual influence on cultural behaviour in the aggregate and the influence of cultural heritage on the individual's perceived range of choices. That model can be linked to an archaeological dataset, providing a 'freeze frame' view of social structure over time, at a resolution of chronological periods allowed by current understanding of the data. Given the model of social structure, predictions may be made about the individual's experience, viewpoint and biases as a result of the constraining and permitting effects of the cultural environment, thus broadening the range of what may be 'known' about a particular period. Finally, the 'freeze frame' view is extended by models of the dynamics of individual action and its consequences, providing a method for deriving causal models for change vested in the inter-relationship of individual behaviour and an evolving environment (cultural, natural and manufactured). Thus, group dynamics theory provides the potential for adding to the interpretative value of an archaeological dataset by presenting a wholly new way of understanding the motives and mechanisms for change, as well as explaining stasis. All facets of group dynamics theory are applied to a substantial case study of the first millennium BC in two counties in southern Britain (Hampshire and Sussex), demonstrating utility, practicability and relevance in the current archaeological climate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology