By Dale F. Eickelman

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The Learned Families tended to marry only among themselves or with persons of similar rank in neighboring villages. The peasant Professionals had weblike connections through marriage arid patronage with persons of many different walks of life in Beirut and elsewhere-bankers, politicians, doctors, educators, emigrants, and entrepreneurs-and used these ties to advantage in the acquisition of political influence. The Learned Families were caught up in a narrow web of relations and were pursuing what had become a defunct economic policy of investing their 61 wealth only in land, although the locus of significant economic activities had shifted elsewhere.

71; and Philip ~arl Salzman, "The. e East Studies, 9, no. 4 (November 1978),539-57. litI~~, and economic isolates, see Paul Ward English, City and Village In Iran (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966). 8 percent, or 300,000, in 1970. 5 The beg~ng of the pronounced decline of nomadism varies from country to country, but m almost all cases the rate of decline brought about by large-scale economic and political shifts has been rapid.

As Peters writes, his principal difficulty was his acceptance of the global social categories used by the 60 INTRODUCTION The Functionalist Era: Village and Community Studies villagers themselves. This directed his attention away from certain major economic and status transformations which were then occurring. These were not perceived as patterned regularities by the villagers themselves, but, Peters argues, an understanding of them was essential for an adequate social anthropological account of village structure.

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