Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology Vol: 23

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Product Details
30 Dec 2004
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
416 pages - 156 x 234 x 23mm
Research in Economic Anthropology


As a field, anthropology brings an explicit evolutionary approach to the study of human behavior. Each of anthropology's four main subfields - sociocultural, biological, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology - acknowledges that Homo sapiens has a long evolutionary history that must be acknowledged if one is to know what it means to be a human being (What is Anthropology?). The papers in this volume embody the view of anthropology explicit in the above statement. Behavioral ecology explains human behavior through the application of evolutionary theory in ecological context. It focuses on how behavior is influenced by the constraints of reproduction and resources acquisition. As a result, its purview is a wide swath of anthropology, especially economic anthropology. Human behavior varies through the life course, and humans make choices or exhibit behavioral variation depending on the costs, benefits, and constraints of local socioeconomic contexts. Pan-human conscious and unconscious processes generate these decisions, because over evolutionary time scales they produced, on average, behavior that increased the relative reproductive success of their bearers. Behavioral ecology examines these adaptive behavioral responses to local conditions. The volumes papers demonstrate behavioral ecology's maturation as a subfield of anthropology. They demonstrate the breadth of problems that can be gainfully addressed within the paradigm and the richness of specific hypotheses and data that this perspective can generate. The papers also show how behavioral ecology conceptually integrates the core of biological anthropology with the other subdisciplines by providing a common framework for investigating and understanding basic economic questions.
1. Good lamalera whale hunters accrue reproductive benefits (M.S. Alvard). 2. Why do foragers share and shares forage? Explorations of social dimensions of foraging (M. Gurven, K. Hill, F. Jakugi). 3. Reconsidering the cost of childbearing: The timing of childrens helping behavior across the life cycle of Maya families (K.L. Kramer). 4. Burden transport: When, how and how much? (P.A. Kramer). 5. Do women really need marital partners for support of their reproductive success? The case of the Matrilineal Khasi of N.E. India (D.L. Leonettia, D.C. Nath, N.S. Hemam, D.B. Neil). 6. Maternal nutrition and sex ratio at birth in Ethiopia (R. Mace, J. Eardley). 7. What explains Hadza food sharing? (F.W. Marlowe). 8. Large-scale cooperation among Sungusungu Vigilantes of Tanzania: Conceptualizing micro-economic and institutional approaches (B. Paciotti, C. Hadley). 9. The behavioral ecology of female genital cutting in Northern Ghana (L.L. Reason). 10. Maintaining the matriline: Childrens birth order roles and educational attainment among Thai Khon Muang (L.R. Taylor). 11. Embodied capital and heritable wealth in complex cultures: A class-based analysis of parental investment in urban South India (M.K. Shenk). 12. Height, marriage and reproductive success in Gambian women (R. Sear, R. Mace, N. Allal, I.A. McGregor). 13. Risk perception and resource security for female agricultural workers (K. Snyder). 14. Ideology, religion, and the evolution of cooperation: Field experiments on Israeli Kibbutzim (R. Sosis, B.J. Ruffle). 15. Does the occurrence and duration of health insults among Shiwiar Forager-Horticulturalists indicate that health care provisioning reduces juvenile mortality? (L.S. Sugiyama). 16. Giving, scrounging, hiding, and selling: Minimal food sharing among Mikea of Madagascar (B. Tucker).

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