Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society

Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society

by Bernard Chapais
Pub. Date:
Harvard University Press
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Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society

Primeval Kinship is the first book dedicated to the evolutionary origins of human kinship. And perhaps equally important, it is the first book to suggest that the study of kinship and social organization can provide a link between social and biological anthropology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674027824
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 04/28/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 The Question of the Origin of Human Society 1

A Forsaken Quest 6

The Deep Structure of Human Societies 10

I Primatologists as Evolutionary Historians

2 Primatology and the Evolution of Human Behavior 17

The Phylogenetic Decomposition Principle 18

Reconstructing the Exogamy Configuration 25

3 The Uterine Kinship Legacy Primatological Theories and Primate Legacies 30

Appraising Primate Kinship 32

The Domain of Uterine Kindred in Primates 35

How Are Uterine Kin Recognized? 40

The Origin of Group-wide Kinship Structures 43

4 From Biological to Cultural Kinship 48

Beyond Consanguineal Kinship 49

The "Genealogical Unity of Mankind" 54

The Bilateral Character of Human Kinship 57

5 The Incest Avoidance Legacy 60

Elements of a Primatological Theory of Incest Avoidance 61

Humankind's Primate Heritage 68

6 From Behavioral Regularities to Institutionalized Rules 71

The Anthropologists' Treatment of the Primate Data 72

The Westermarck Knot 78

The Morality Problem 83

Lessons from Comparative Anatomy 86

II Exogamy Configuration Decomposed

7 L?vi-Strauss and the Deep Structure of Human Society 93

Reciprocal Exogamy as a Deep Structuring Principle 95

Reciprocal Exogamy as Archaic 99

The Convergence beyond the Critiques 101

L?vi-Strauss and the Primate Data 104

8 Human Society Out of the Evolutionary Vacuum 107

Leslie White and the Primate Origins of Exogamy 109

Elman Service and the Primitive Exogamous Band 113

Robin Fox and the Initial Deconstruction of Exogamy 116

9 The Building Blocks of Exogamy 122

Pinpointing the Distinctiveness of Exogamy 122

Reconstructing Human Society: The Task Ahead 126

A Once Irreducible System 130

III The Exogamy Configuration Reconstructed

10 The Ancestral Male Kin Group Hypothesis 135

The Patrilocal Band Model 136

Male Philopatry in Apes 139

The Homology Hypothesis 142

Updating the Ancestral Male Kin Group Hypothesis 147

The Gorilla Alternative 151

11 The Evolutionary History of Pair-Bonding 157

The "Invariant Core of the Family" 158

Pair-Bonds as Parental Partnerships 162

The Pitfall of the Modern Family Reference 168

A Two-Step Evolutionary Sequence 171

Monogamy as a Special Case of Polygyny 175

The Evolutionary History of the Sexual Division of Labor 179

12 Pair-Bonding and the Reinvention of Kinship 185

The Fundamental Equation of the Exogamy Configuration 185

Kinship in the Ancestral Male Kin Group 187

Fatherhood 194

The Institutionalized Denial of Paternity 196

The Development of Agnatic Kinship Structures 198

13 Biparentality and the Transformation of Siblingships 202

Chimpanzee Siblingships 203

Fatherhood and the Evolution of Strong Brotherhoods 205

Fatherhood and the Brother-Sister Bond 209

The Added Effect of Shorter Interbirth Intervals 213

14 Beyond the Local Group: The Rise of the Tribe 216

Male Pacification as a Prerequisite for the Tribe 217

Females as Peacemakers: The Consanguinity Route 219

Females as Peacemakers: The Affinity Route 223

The Initial Impetus 226

The Prelinguistic Tribe 228

15 From Male Philopatry to Residential Diversity 235

Some Serious Discrepancies 236

The Emergence of Residential Diversity 238

Ancestral Patrilocality and Grandmothering 243

16 Brothers, Sisters, and the Founding Principle of Exogamy 246

The First Step: Outmarriage 247

Affinal Brotherhoods and the Origin of Exogamy Rules 251

From Siblings-in-Law to Cross-Cousins 256

The "Atom of Kinship" Revisited 259

IV Unilineal Descent

17 Filiation, Descent, and Ideology 265

The African Model of Unilineal Descent Groups 267

The Chestnut within the Model 271

18 The Primate Origins of Unilineal Descent Groups 276

Group Membership through Birth 277

Kinship-Based Segmentation 278

The Genealogical Boundaries of Exogamy 281

The Unisexual Transmission of Status 281

Primitive Corporateness 284

A Multilevel Structure of Solidarity 286

The Evolutionary History of Human Descent Female Kin Groups as Precultural Matriclans 289

The Residential Basis of Proto-Descent Groups 291

The Latent Patriclan 291

Matrilineality as a Male Affair 298

Conclusion: Human Society as Contingent 301

References 311

Index 341

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