Hierarchy In The Forest

Hierarchy In The Forest

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by Christopher Boehm
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674006917

ISBN-13: 9780674006911

Pub. Date: 11/02/2001

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy

Overview

Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong.

The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected.

Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674006911
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
11/02/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
306
Sales rank:
641,374
Product dimensions:
0.64(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)

Table of Contents

The Question of Egalitarian Society

Hierarchy and Equality

Putting Down Aggressors

Equality and Its Causes

A Wider View of Egalitarianism

The Hominoid Political Spectrum

Ancestral Politics

The Evolution of Egalitarian Society

Paleolithic Politics and Natural Selection

Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature

References

Index

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Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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