Culture, Biology, and Anthropological Demography (New by Eric Abella Roth

By Eric Abella Roth

Detailed techniques to the research of human demography exist inside anthropology today--anthropological demography and human evolutionary ecology. Eric Roth reconciles those techniques via acceptance of universal examine subject matters and the development of a vast theoretical framework incorporating either cultural and organic motivation.

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Extra resources for Culture, Biology, and Anthropological Demography (New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography)

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2002). Human Behavioral Ecology The subfield termed human behavioral ecology focuses on measures of reproductive success as human adaptation, stressing the adaptiveness of a behavior by measuring the net effect it has on fitness (see reviews by Borgerhoff Mulder 1992; Winterhalder and Smith 2000). ” Recognizing both descendants and nondescendent relatives means that fitness is assessed in two related manners. The more straightforward of these is Darwinian Fitness, calculated as individual Lifetime Reproductive Success (LRS), which is the combined effects of differential fertility and mortality (Betzig et al.

However, evolutionary psychology differs Anthropological Demography and Human Evolutionary Ecology 25 in three important respects. First, in contrast to the emphasis that human behavioral ecology places on differential reproductive success, evolutionary psychologists stress “evolved psychological tendencies” (Symons 1989:132), represented by hard-wired cognitive mechanisms underlying human behavior. Although agreeing that differential reproductive success is the measure of fitness, evolutionary psychologists hold that this is only the end result of psychologically induced behaviors.

Finally, child fostering, also known in the literature as the “borrowing” or “lending” of children, meant that offspring would periodically reside at kinship-related households. ” These social institutions are recognizable as parts of Caldwell’s (1982) Wealth Flows Theory, with wealth flowing from children to parents. In this model, offspring represent valuable commodities, yielding high returns for low parental investment costs. Writing in 1989, Draper noted that continued sub-Saharan high fertility in the face of several decades of falling infant and child mortality suggests that real economic constraints may not yet be felt by many sub-Saharan African societies.

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