The Evolution of Human Sociality: The Current State of Knowledge

Human Evolution Lunchtime Lecture (HELL) series.   Presentation by visiting Professor Joseph Carroll from University of Missouri, St. Louis for the Centre for Biocultural History.

2015.05.04 | Georgios Athanasiadis

Date Fri 08 May
Time 16:00 13:00
Location AIAS, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, Bldg 1632, 1st floor lunch room

Because culture is social, biocultural theory must include a good basic model of evolved human sociality. The elements of such a model have become available only within the past few years. As yet, no one book or set of articles contains all the elements of the mo- del. In this talk, I synthesize the most advanced thinking on this subject from several main research areas: game theory, primatology, paleoanthropology, evolutionary social psycholo- gy, and evolutionary social and political history. I argue that, for humans, the identity of the social group is integral to individual identity and that this idea can be used to organize seven concepts necessary for a model of evolved human sociality: (1) dominance, (2) egalitarianism or reverse dominance (3) leadership, (4) internalized norms, (5) strong reciprocity or third- party enforcement of norms, (6) legal institutions, and (7) legitimacy in the exercise of po- wer. By integrating these concepts, I produce a framework for (a) evaluating salient recent works dealing with evolved human sociality, and (b) analyzing social themes in literature.

Biocultural theory
Tags: Human sociality