Human Nature and the Evolution of Society

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9780813349367: Human Nature and the Evolution of Society
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"The book is written in an accessible language, and is well edited, with an index and a glossary for more technical terms, and handy summaries and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter... This is an excellent choice: escaping from excessive technicality and jargon, Sanderson helps to popularize evolutionary psychology in a correct way, while maintaining a solid scientific basis." --Science & Education "Sanderson's new book provides a great service, surveying and summarizing a vast quantity of research on evolution and human behavior in a way that will be accessible to general readers and students while also engaging and enlightening experts in the field. One of the book's many strengths is the way it situates current research on human nature within the broader contexts of cross-cultural research and human paleontology. In addition to covering such standard topics as mating and parenting, Sanderson also ventures where few other authors of books like this dare to go, exploring such topics as language, religion, sexual orientation, and racism. Although I may quibble with some of the positions that Sanderson stakes out on these issues, I applaud him for making his views clear, a refreshing contrast with the noncommittal approach taken by so many textbook authors." --Lee Cronk, Rutgers University

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If evolution has changed humans physically, has it also affected human behavior? Drawing on evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, and human behavioral ecology, Human Nature and the Evolution of Society explores the evolutionary dynamics underlying social life.

In this introduction to human behavior and the organization of social life, Stephen K. Sanderson discusses traditional subjects like mating behavior, kinship, parenthood, status-seeking, and violence, as well as important topics seldom included in books of this type, especially gender, economies, politics, foodways, race and ethnicity, and the arts. Examples and research on a wide range of human societies, both industrial and nonindustrial, are integrated throughout. With chapter summaries of key points, thoughtful discussion questions, and important terms defined within the text, the result is a broad-ranging and comprehensive consideration of human society, thoroughly grounded in an evolutionary perspective.

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