UW POL S 204 - The Deep Social Structure of Humankind

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POL S 204 "The deep social structure of humankind" and "Co- Resident Patterns in Hunter Gatherer SocietiesShow Unique Human Social Structure"Reading Notes:The Deep Social Structure of Humankind• Defining a common denominator or deep structure• The search for deep structure in humankind is far more challenging then in primates.• scientists look at 2 data sources to create a model• Comparing hunter-gatherer societies which are the most informative groups for understanding the socialevolution of humans• Comparing human hunter gatherer societies to nonhuman primate societies• First• humans - multilevel structures of alliances, inclusive social entities• Primates - independent, single group structures• Second• Humans - communities of families, monogamous which is unique in primates• Third• Humans - more flexible, with both sexes staying or leaving• Primates - either sex moves to a new group around puberty losing contact with their Natal grouppermanently• Fourth• Humans - have close bonds with siblings, often living together in hunter gatherer societies• Primates - siblings stop interaction around puberty• Fifth• humans - bilineal preferential kin recognition, un paralleled• primates - preferential bond matrilineal kin recognition• Sixth• humans - preferential bonds with in- laws/ affines• uniquely human feature• accounts for much of coresident group members in hunter gatherer societies• Primates• Male primates are territorial and attack male strangers• primates will mate with either sex in their "group"• male residence, females move• pair bonding in humans• allows children to recognize fathers and family• alliences/ bonds keep people from fighting • this would make "safe zones" larger, males could move between groups• network of human social structure• These multi leveled alliance structures raised challenging questions:• What "cognitive prerequisites" were necessary for social groups to act as individual units and coordinatetheir actions in relation to other unitsCo- Resident Patterns in Hunter Gatherer Societies Show Unique Human Social Structure• Our biological success is based in cooperation with non-kin and exceptional reliance on cultural transmission• Food sharing• childcare • food acquisition • construction • maintenance of living space • transportation of children and possessions providing of public good• Resulted in:• slow juvenile growth • late sexual maturity • high fertility • high adults survivorship• long post reproductive lifespans• Cooperative breeders• Shared intentionality• teaching and learning • equitable distribution • willingness to punish norm violators• Flexible bilocal residence leads to neither sex being surrounded mainly by kin• hypothesis:• "Monogamous pair bonding, paternal recognition, with Cooperative breeding social units, and by sexualdisbursal, facilitate frequent and friendly intergroup relations migration and low group genetic relatedness."• 1. bands are mainly none kin, constant flow• 2. pro-social emotions and inequality aversion is not directly linked to kin, however ethnic group seems plausible• INOVATION• In larger groups/ networks there are more chances for innovation, observation, trials, evaluation of success,greater exposure to new ideas..• Proof: widespread tools and


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UW POL S 204 - The Deep Social Structure of Humankind

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