|In the primitive state of humanity,
the pretechnological and precivilization stage, each individual or individualized group had to fulfill
the different actions necessary for the maintenance of life. They had to
function for providing their own food, clothing, shelter, protection,
education and religious guidance. In the course of time a natural
diversification of roles occurred. By concentrating on one action more
could be accomplished. One man became a farmer, the other built houses, the third taught the lore of
the people, and so on. In this way by a greater expertise in these different roles society could
provide a richer life for all.
But in this process independence and
self-reliance became reduced. The individual became progressively more dependent
upon society and its definitions of who he was to fulfill his basic necessities. Conflict arose as to the
relative value or importance of each role.
Generally the manual roles
were considered inferior to those occupations done with the mind, like the role of the priest. The roles
which dealt with the broader life of the people, social or religious,
gained more prestige than those limited to the needs of the person or family. For example, the head of
the community was regarded as more important than the common laborer.