Anthropologists have devoted a good deal of attention recently to what they call ‘complex society’. This rather vague concept developed in contrast with ‘primitive’ or ‘simple’ society, the small-scale, isolated, local-oriented, non- literate grouping of like social parts which anthropologists made, or fancied, their primary object of study. This is Tonnies’ gemeinschaft, held together by Durkheim's ‘mechanical solidarity.’ ‘Complex society’ on the other hand, is more similar to Tonnies’ gesellschaft, bases to some degree upon Durkheim's ‘organic solidarity’; it has many differentiated parts, ingeniously interwoven into elaborate structures, with specializations and rankings and overlappings and other imaginative complications. More and more anthropologists found themselves, whatever their original intentions, involved in studies that were manifestly of ‘complex society.’ This was the result of two developments: One was the encapsulation of most ‘simple’ societies by colonial or national societies, and the concomitant engagement with government, economic markets, and development (or under development). This encapsulation was not something completely new that happened during the course of anthropological investigation, but something which had been going on and which anthropologists ‘discovered’ and began to devote attention to. The other development was the carrying of anthropological research to the areas of the ‘great civilizations’ in East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. In these areas, long-recorded histories, literate traditions, great states and empires, and sophisticated technologies belied the notion of ‘simple’ society, and raised embarrassing questions about classical anthropological methodology, ‘participant observation’ in a constricted area for one or two years.