Definition of Agrarian Society
(noun) A society whose primary mode of production is large-scale agriculture, which uses plows (ploughs) and draft animals to grow food.
Example of Agrarian Society
- Plantations in the South of the United States prior to the abolition of slavery.
Agrarian Society Pronunciation
Syllabification: a·grar·i·an so·ci·e·ty
- American English – /uh-grE-ree-uhn suh-sIE-uh-tee/
- British English – /uh-grEUH-riuhn suh-sIE-uh-tee/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /əˈgrɛriən səˈsaɪəti/
- British English – /əˈgreərɪən səˈsaɪəti/
- Plural: agrarian societies
- An agrarian society is compared and contrasted with a horticultural society and a hunter-gatherer society.
- Also called:
- agriculture society
- agricultural society
- “About 5000 years ago, people developed plow agriculture. By attaching oxen and other large animals to plows, farmers could increase the amount they produced. Again thanks to technological innovation, surpluses grew. With more wealth came still sharper social stratification. Agrarian societies developed religious beliefs justifying steeper inequality. People came to believe that kings and queens ruled by ‘divine right.’ They viewed large landowners as ‘lords.’ Moreover, if you were born a peasant, you and your children were likely to remain peasants. If you were born a lord, you and your children were likely to remain lords. In the vocabulary of modern sociology, we say that stratification in agrarian societies was based more on ascription than achievement” (Brym and Lie 2007:225).
- Ecological and Environmental Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Food and Agriculture Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “agrarian” and “society” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- feudal society
- physical environment
- subsistence strategy
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Cite the Definition of Agrarian Society
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “agrarian society.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 28, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/agrarian-society/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
agrarian society. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/agrarian-society/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “agrarian society.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/agrarian-society/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“agrarian society.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/agrarian-society/>.