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Early Human Kinship: From Sex to Social Reproduction

By: Nicholas J Allen, Hilary Callan, Robin Dunbar and Wendy James

316 pages, Figs, tabs


Hardback | Jun 2008 | #173131 | ISBN-13: 9781405179010
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £79.95 $104/€91 approx

About this book

Early Human Kinship brings together original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics to provide a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society.

A major new collaboration between specialists across the range of the human sciences including evolutionary biology and psychology; social/cultural anthropology; archaeology and linguistics.

Provides a ground-breaking set of original studies offering a new perspective on early human history.

Debates fundamental questions about early human society: Was there a connection between the beginnings of language and the beginnings of organized 'kinship and marriage'? How far did evolutionary selection favor gender and age as principles for regulating social relations?

Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in conjunction with the British Academy.


Preface and Acknowledgments Notes on Contributors Introductory Why 'Kinship'? New Questions on an Old Topic: Wendy James (University of Oxford) A Brief Overview of Human Evolution: John A. J. Gowlett and Robin Dunbar (University of Liverpool and University of Oxford) Part I: Where and When: the Archaeological Evidence for Early Social Life in Africa: 1. Kinship and Material Culture: Archaeological Implications of the Human Global Diaspora: Clive Gamble (Royal Holloway College, University of London) 2. Deep Roots of Kin - Developing the Evolutionary Perspective from Prehistory: John A. J. Gowlett (University of Liverpool) Part II: Women, Children, Men: And the Puzzles of Comparative Social Structure: 3. Early Human Kinship was Matrilineal: Chris Knight (University of East London) 4. Alternating Birth Classes: A Note from Eastern Africa: Wendy James (University of Oxford) 5. Tetradic Theory and the Origin of Human Kinship Systems: Nicholas J. Allen (University of Oxford) 6. What Can Ethnography Tell us about Human Social Evolution: Bob Layton (University of Durham) Part III: Other Primates and the Biological Approach: 7. Kinship in Biological Perspective: Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford) 8. The Importance of Kinship in Monkey Society: Mandy Korstjens (University of Bournemouth) 9. The Meaning and Relevance of Kinship in Great Apes: Julia Lehmann (University of Oxford) 10.Grandmothering and Female Coalitions: A Basis for Matrilineal Priority?: Kit Opie and Camilla Power (both University of East London) Part IV: Reconstructions: Evidence from Cultural Practice and Language: 11. A Phylogenetic Approach to the History of Cultural Practices: Laura Fortunato (University College London) 12. Reconstructing Ancient Kinship in Africa: Christ Ehret (University of California, Los Angeles) 13. The Co-evolution of Language and Kinship: Alan Barnard (University of Edinburgh) 14. Epilogue: Reaching Across the Gaps: Hilary Callan (Royal Anthropological Institute, London) Appendices Bibliography

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Nicholas J. Allen is Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He has published on the Himalayas, kinship theory, the Durkheimian School, and Indo-European Comparativism. His books include Categories and Classifications (2000) and Marcel Mauss: A Centenary Tribute (1998).
Hilary Callan has been Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland since 2000. Her research and publications include work on biological and social anthropology, occupational cultures, and gender, including Ethology and Society (1970) and The Incorporated Wife (edited with Shirley Ardener, 1984)
Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, and specialises in primate behaviour. He is co-Director of the British Academy's Centenary research Project ('From Lucy to Language: The Archaeology of the Social Brain'). He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including The Human Story (2004) and Evolutionary Psychology: A Beginner's Guide (2005).
Wendy James was recently Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and is now Emeritus Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. She has carried out ethnographic research in North East Africa, and her books include War and Survival in Sudan's Frontierlands: Voices from the Blue Nile (2007) and Kwanim Pa: The Making of the Uduk People (1979).

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