On the Origin of Societies by Natural Selection

Front Cover
Routledge, Nov 17, 2015 - Social Science - 376 pages
Kinship, religion, and economy were not "natural" to humans, nor to species of apes that had to survive on the African savanna. Society from its very beginnings involved an uneasy necessity that often stood in conflict with humans' ape ancestry; these tensions only grew along with later, more complex-eventually colossal-sociocultural systems. The ape in us was not extinguished, nor obviated, by culture; indeed, our ancestry continues to place pressures on individuals and their sociocultural creations. Not just an exercise in history, this pathbreaking book dispels many myths about the beginning of society to gain new understandings of the many pressures on societies today.
 

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Contents

1 A Brief History of Primate Time on Earth
1
2 The Weakness of Weak Ties
28
In Search of the Primal Horde
58
A New Basis of Primate Solidarity
81
5 The Emergence of Culture
110
Hunting and Gathering
129
7 The Rise of Horticulture
168
8 Agrarian Societies
207
9 The Rise of Industrial and PostIndustrial Societies
249
Evolved Apes Living in Sociocultural Cages
301
References
321
Index
353
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About the author (2015)

Jonathan H. Turner is a professor of sociology at the University of California at Riverside. He is the author of numerous journal articles, and over twenty-five books, such as Oppression: A Sociohistory of Black-White relations, American Society: Problems of Structure, Social Problems in America, and Inequality: Privilege & Poverty in America.

Alexandra Maryanski is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. She is the coauthor of four books outlining her approach to a more biological-based sociology, plus another edited book devoted to evolutionary analysis in the social sciences. She is also the author of many dozens of research articles and chapters using data on primates as a lens for understanding human nature and its affects on behavior, interaction, and social organization.

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