Evolution Of Human Sociality / Edition 1

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Overview

This book attempts a broad theoretical synthesis within the field of sociology and its closely allied sister discipline of anthropology. It draws together what the author considers the best of these disciplines' theoretical approaches into a synthesized theory called Darwinian conflict theory. This theory, in the most general sense, is a synthesis of the tradition of economic and ecological materialism and conflict theory stemming from Marx, Marvin Harris, and the tradition of biological materialism deriving from Darwin. The first half of the book is taken up with critiques of existing theoretical approaches; this then leads to the full elaboration, in formal propositional form, of synthetic theory. The second half of the book lays out the large amount of evidence, both qualitative and quantitative, that supports the synthesized theory.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The best parts of Sanderson's book are the early sections, where he reviews and critiques the major existing paradigms of sociology, including functionalism, Marxism, and sociobiology.
Contemporary Sociology
Stephen Sanderson's The Evolution of Human Sociality provides a serious and wide-ranging treatise on sociobiology, its relationship to other styles of social explanation, and its pertinence to various domains of social life. Sanderson has given us a highly commendable work, and one that would surely benefit our discipline if its contentions were widely read and seriously engaged.
Quarterly Review Of Biology
This ambitious book is chock full of telling criticisms and worthy efforts at interdisciplinary synthesis. I hope that sociologists read it and take it seriously, and any evolutionist who is willing to push on despite finding nits to pick will get a lot out of it, too.
Pierre L. van den Berghe
An emphatically original work. . . . The book makes the point quite forcibly that sociology makes no sense unless it is anchored, not only in evolutionary biology, but also in anthropology.
Alexandra Maryanski
Stephen Sanderson is one of the leading figures in the world today among scholars trying to reconnect the social and biological sciences. His new book is cutting-edge. It is a unique argument, bound to excite, irritate, and initiate lively debate. No one else has said what he is saying in this book. The argument is extremely well organized, and the author writes in an engaging manner.
Dr. Peter Meyer
This is a break-through in sociological theory, demonstrating how a powerful new conflict theory can be framed from Neo-Darwinian, Marxian, Weberian, and other sources.
CHOICE
The best parts of Sanderson's book are the early sections, where he reviews and critiques the major existing paradigms of sociology, including functionalism, Marxism, and sociobiology.
Timothy Crippen
Stephen Sanderson's most recent book provides a powerful corrective to the current fragmented state of sociological theorizing. Sanderson's principal aim is to construct a viable theoretical foundation for sociology. He attempts a synthesis of ideas drawn primarily from conflict, exchange, cultural materialist, and sociobiologial theoretical premises. He then employs these tools to assess several topics that are of continuing interest to sociologists—the nature of human sexuality, gender relations and the family; the evolution of systems of economic behavior; the nature and transformation of dominance orders in human societies; and the nature of the politics of war. But the value of his contribution is found in the variety of topics and the scope of empirical evidence that he is able to handle successfully by reference to his synthesized theoretical principles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847695355
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 406
  • Product dimensions: 0.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen K. Sanderson is professor of sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Sociological Explanations that Do Not Work Chapter 3 Functionalist Explanations Chapter 4 Social Constructionist Explanations Chapter 5 Structuralist, Poststructuralist, and Postmodernist Explanations Part 6 Sociological Explanations that Work Better Chapter 7 Marxian Conflict Explanations Chapter 8 Weberian Conflict Explanations Part 9 Sociological Explanations that Work Best Chapter 10 Exchange and Rational Choice Explanations Chapter 11 Cultural Materialist Explanations Chapter 12 Sociobiological Explanations Part 13 Toward Theoretical Synthesis Chapter 14 Darwinian Conflict Theory: A Unified Evolutionary Theory of Human Society Part 15 Darwinian Conflict Theory: The Weight of the Evidence Chapter 16 Reproductive Behavior Chapter 17 Human Sexuality Chapter 18 Sex and Gender Chapter 19 Marriage, Family, and Kinship Chapter 20 Economic Behavior and Economic Systems Chapter 21 Social Hierarchies Chapter 22 Politics and War Chapter 23 Epilogue

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