On the Origin of Societies by Natural Selection
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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Tables and Figures
The Weakness of Weak Ties
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ability activities actors adult agrarian allowed ancestor animals apes areas band base became become behaviors beliefs body bonds brain cage capacity capital changes Chapter chimpanzees complex corporate courts create culture develop differentiation directed distribution dominance early economic effects elites emerged emotions enhanced evident evolution evolved exchange exist expanded females fitness forces forest formations gathering hominids Homo horticultural human societies humans hunter-gatherers hunting increase individuals industrial inequality institutional kinds kinship labor language larger less living males markets million mobility monkeys move natural natural selection nuclear family once organization patterns polity population positive post-industrial potential primate production propensities regulation relations relatively religion religious represent rituals rules selection pressures sense simple social structure societies solidarity species speech stable stratification symbols Table ties tion units visual weak World monkeys