On the Origin of Societies by Natural Selection

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Paradigm Publishers, 2008 - Social Science - 366 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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About the author (2008)

Alexandra Maryanski, associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, is co-author of The Social Cage: Human Nature and the Evolution of Society (Stanford University Press). Jonathan Turner, distinguished professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of Face to Face: Toward a Sociological Theory of Interpersonal Behavior (Stanford University Press 2002).

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