Evolution and Human Kinship

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byAustin L. Hughes

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While there have been controversial attempts to link conclusions from sociobiological studies of animal populations to humans, few behavioral scientists or anthropologists have made serious progress. In this work, Austin Hughes presents a unique and well-defined theoretical approach to humansocial behavior that is rooted in evolutionary biology and sociobiology, and which is additionally viewed as a direct continuation of the structural-functional tradition in anthropological research. Using mathematical and statistical techniques, Hughes applies the principles of kin selectiontheory--which states that natural selection can favor social acts that increase the fitness of both individuals and their relatives--to anthropological data. Among the topics covered are the subdivision of kin groups, selection of leaders in traditional societies, patronage systems, and thecorrespondence between social and biological kinship. The author concludes that patterns of concentration of relatedness are more important than average relatedness for predicting social behavior. He also shows that social interactions can often be predicted on the basis of common genetic interestin dependent offspring. The result is a major contribution to the field of behavioral biology.

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While there have been controversial attempts to link conclusions from sociobiological studies of animal populations to humans, few behavioral scientists or anthropologists have made serious progress. In this work, Austin Hughes presents a unique and well-defined theoretical approach to humansocial behavior that is rooted in evolutiona...

Austin L. Hughes is a Research Associate in the Biology Department at the University of Iowa.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 9.57 × 6.46 × 0.79 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019505234X

ISBN - 13:9780195052343

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Table of Contents

1. Philosophical Background2. The Theory of Kin Selection3. Cooperation and Sharing Among Kin4. The Structure of Relatedness5. Kin Group Subdivision and Conflict6. Kinship and Leadership7. The Structure of Kinship Terminologies8. Prospects for a Biologically Based Social Science

Editorial Reviews

"Throws an important new light on our understanding of inclusive fitness theory, as well as on the way we apply sociobiological principles to the study of Man" --Trends in Ecology and Evolution