Technology as Human Social Tradition

Cultural Transmission among Hunter-Gatherers

Author: Peter David Jordan

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520958330

Category: Social Science

Page: 424

View: 3099

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Technology as Human Social Tradition outlines a novel approach to studying variability and cumulative change in human technology—prominent research themes in both archaeology and anthropology. Peter Jordan argues that human material culture is best understood as an expression of social tradition. In this approach, each artifact stands as an output of a distinctive operational sequence with specific choices made at each stage in its production. Jordan also explores different material culture traditions that are propagated through social learning, factors that promote coherent lineages of tradition to form, and the extent to which these cultural lineages exhibit congruence with one another and with language history. Drawing on the application of cultural transmission theory to empirical research, Jordan develops a descent-with-modification perspective on the technology of Northern Hemisphere hunter-gatherers. Case studies from indigenous societies in Northwest Siberia, the Pacific Northwest Coast, and Northern California provide cross-cultural insights related to the evolution of material culture traditions at different social and spatial scales. This book promises new ways of exploring some of the primary factors that generate human cultural diversity in the deep past and through to the present.

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers

Author: Vicki Cummings,Peter Jordan,Marek Zvelebil

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191025275

Category: Social Science

Page: 1264

View: 5929

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For more than a century, the study of hunting and gathering societies has been central to the development of both archaeology and anthropology as academic disciplines, and has also generated widespread public interest and debate. The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers provides a comprehensive review of hunter-gatherer studies to date, including critical engagements with older debates, new theoretical perspectives, and renewed obligations for greater engagement between researchers and indigenous communities. Chapters provide in-depth archaeological, historical, and anthropological case-studies, and examine far-reaching questions about human social relations, attitudes to technology, ecology, and management of resources and the environment, as well as issues of diet, health, and gender relations - all central topics in hunter-gatherer research, but also themes that have great relevance for modern global society and its future challenges. The Handbook also provides a strategic vision for how the integration of new methods, approaches, and study regions can ensure that future research into the archaeology and anthropology of hunter-gatherers will continue to deliver penetrating insights into the factors that underlie all human diversity.

Culture Evolves

Author: Andrew Whiten

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199608962

Category: Medical

Page: 454

View: 8663

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Culture and cultural evolution are uniquely significant phenomena in evolutionary biology: they are products of biological evolution, yet they supplement genetic transmission with social transmission, thus achieving a certain independence from natural selection. However, cultural evolution nevertheless expresses key Darwinian processes itself and also interacts with genetic evolution. Just how culture fits into the grander framework of evolution is a big issuethough, yet one that has received relatively little scientific attention compared to, for example, genetic evolution. Culture Evolves is the outcome of a major interdisciplinarymeeting held by The Royal Society and the British Academy which explored new discoveries and controversies regarding cultural evolution - from the roots of culture in the animal kingdom to investigations of the cognitive adaptations shaping our special cultural nature. The book contains papers writeen by leading experts from the fields of ethology, behavioural ecology, primatology, comparative psychology, archaeology, anthropology, evolutionary biology and developmental psychology.

Gesture and Speech

Author: André Leroi-Gourhan

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262121736

Category: Social Science

Page: 431

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Combines in one volume "Technics and Language", in which anthropologist Leroi-Gourhan looks at prehistoric technology in relation to the development of cognitive and liguistic faculties, and "Memory and Rhythms", which addresses instinct and intelligence from a sociological viewpoint.

Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers

Evolutionary and Ethnographic Perspectives

Author: Hideaki Terashima,Barry S. Hewlett

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 4431559973

Category: Social Science

Page: 318

View: 1584

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This is the first book to examine social learning and innovation in hunter–gatherers from around the world. More is known about social learning in chimpanzees and nonhuman primates than is known about social learning in hunter–gatherers, a way of life that characterized most of human history. The book describes diverse patterns of learning and teaching behaviors in contemporary hunter–gatherers from the perspectives of cultural anthropology, ecological anthropology, biological anthropology, and developmental psychology. The book addresses several theoretical issues including the learning hypothesis which suggests that the fate of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in the last glacial period might have been due to the differences in learning ability. It has been unequivocally claimed that social learning is intrinsically important for human beings; however, the characteristics of human learning remain under a dense fog despite innumerable studies with children from urban–industrial cultures. Controversy continues on problems such as: do hunter–gatherers teach? If so, what types of teaching occur, who does it, how often, under what contexts, and so on. The book explores the most basic and intrinsic aspects of social learning as well as the foundation of innovative activities in everyday activities of contemporary hunter–gatherer people across the earth. The book examines how hunter-gatherer core values, such as gender and age egalitarianism and extensive sharing of food and childcare are transmitted and acquired by children. Chapters are grouped into five sections: 1) theoretical perspectives of learning in hunter–gatherers, 2) modes and processes of social learning in hunter–gatherers, 3) innovation and cumulative culture, 4) play and other cultural contexts of social learning and innovation, 5) biological contexts of learning and innovation. Ideas and concepts based on the data gathered through an intensive fieldwork by the authors will give much insight into the mechanisms and meanings of learning and education in modern humans.

Learning Strategies and Cultural Evolution during the Palaeolithic

Author: Alex Mesoudi,Kenichi Aoki

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 4431553630

Category: Social Science

Page: 169

View: 8015

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This volume is motivated by the desire to explain why Neanderthals were replaced by modern humans, in terms of cultural differences between the two (sub-) species. It provides up-to-date coverage on the theory of cultural evolution as is being used by anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists and psychologists to decipher hominin cultural change and diversity during the Palaeolithic. The contributing authors are directly involved in this effort and the material presented includes novel approaches and findings. Chapters explain how learning strategies in combination with social and demographic factors (e.g., population size and mobility patterns) predict cultural evolution in a world without the printing press, television or the Internet. Also addressed is the inverse problem of how learning strategies may be inferred from actual trajectories of cultural change, for example as seen in the North American Palaeolithic. Mathematics and statistics, a sometimes necessary part of theory, are explained in elementary terms where they appear, with details relegated to appendices. Full citations of the relevant literature will help the reader to further pursue any topic of interest.

Orderly Anarchy

Sociopolitical Evolution in Aboriginal California

Author: Robert L. Bettinger

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520959191

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 5796

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Orderly Anarchy delivers a provocative and innovative reexamination of sociopolitical evolution among Native American groups in California, a region known for its wealth of prehistoric languages, populations, and cultural adaptations. Scholars have tended to emphasize the development of social complexity and inequality to explain this diversity. Robert L. Bettinger argues instead that "orderly anarchy," the emergence of small, autonomous groups, provided a crucial strategy in social organization. Drawing on ethnographic and archaeological data and evolutionary, economic, and anthropological theory, he shows that these small groups devised diverse solutions to environmental, technological, and social obstacles to the intensified use of resources. This book revises our understanding of how California became the most densely populated landscape in aboriginal North America.

Hunter-Gatherers

Archaeological and Evolutionary Theory

Author: Robert L. Bettinger,Raven Garvey,Shannon Tushingham

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1489975810

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 8452

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Hunter-gatherer research has played a historically central role in the development of anthropological and evolutionary theory. Today, research in this traditional and enduringly vital field blurs lines of distinction between archaeology and ethnology, and seeks instead to develop perspectives and theories broadly applicable to anthropology and its many sub disciplines. In the groundbreaking first edition of Hunter-Gatherers: Archaeological and Evolutionary Theory (1991), Robert Bettinger presented an integrative perspective on hunter-gatherer research and advanced a theoretical approach compatible with both traditional anthropological and contemporary evolutionary theories. Hunter-Gatherers remains a well-respected and much-cited text, now over 20 years since initial publication. Yet, as in other vibrant fields of study, the last two decades have seen important empirical and theoretical advances. In this second edition of Hunter-Gatherers, co-authors Robert Bettinger, Raven Garvey, and Shannon Tushingham offer a revised and expanded version of the classic text, which includes a succinct and provocative critical synthesis of hunter-gatherer and evolutionary theory, from the Enlightenment to the present. New and expanded sections relate and react to recent developments—some of them the authors’ own—particularly in the realms of optimal foraging and cultural transmission theories. An exceptionally informative and ambitious volume on cultural evolutionary theory, Hunter-Gatherers, second edition, is an essential addition to the libraries of anthropologists, archaeologists, and human ecologists alike.

The Acceleration of Cultural Change

From Ancestors to Algorithms

Author: R. Alexander Bentley,Michael J. O'Brien,John Maeda

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262036959

Category: Psychology

Page: 176

View: 4758

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How culture evolves through algorithms rather than knowledge inherited from ancestors.

The Secret of Our Success

How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

Author: Joseph Henrich

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400873290

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 1780

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Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations. Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory. Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.

Pattern and Process in Cultural Evolution

Author: Stephen Shennan

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520255999

Category: Science

Page: 341

View: 507

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"Archaeological data are uniquely suited to testing models of cultural evolution. This volume provides an excellent summary of the state of the art in this new field."--Robert Boyd, coauthor of "Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution"

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 1708

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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062316109

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 9174

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New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Ceramics Before Farming

The Dispersal of Pottery Among Prehistoric Eurasian Hunter-Gatherers

Author: Peter Jordan,Marek Zvelebil

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315432358

Category: Social Science

Page: 589

View: 9252

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A long-overdue advancement in ceramic studies, this volume sheds new light on the adoption and dispersal of pottery by non-agricultural societies of prehistoric Eurasia. Major contributions from Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia make this a truly international work that brings together different theories and material for the first time. Researchers and scholars studying the origins and dispersal of pottery, the prehistoric peoples or Eurasia, and flow of ancient technologies will all benefit from this book.

Culture and Customs of Zambia

Author: Scott D. Taylor

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313332463

Category: Social Science

Page: 148

View: 1309

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A model African nation negotiating between tradition and modernity is revealed.

Material Culture and Sacred Landscape

The Anthropology of the Siberian Khanty

Author: Peter D. Jordan

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 9780759102774

Category: Religion

Page: 309

View: 7918

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Study of the Khanty pastoralists of Siberia and their use of sacred landscapes.

Language

The Cultural Tool

Author: Daniel Leonard Everett

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0307378535

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 351

View: 3469

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Building on a controversial premise that refutes the opinions of most linguists to argue that language is a unique and essential cultural tool, an anthropological and psychological report contends that language is a human, societally driven invention that can be reinvented and lost.

The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Author: Deborah L. Nichols,Christopher A. Pool

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199996342

Category: Social Science

Page: 1000

View: 9429

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The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology provides a current and comprehensive guide to the recent and on-going archaeology of Mesoamerica. Though the emphasis is on prehispanic societies, this Handbook also includes coverage of important new work by archaeologists on the Colonial and Republican periods. Unique among recent works, the text brings together in a single volume article-length regional syntheses and topical overviews written by active scholars in the field of Mesoamerican archaeology. The first section of the Handbook provides an overview of recent history and trends of Mesoamerica and articles on national archaeology programs and practice in Central America and Mexico written by archaeologists from these countries. These are followed by regional syntheses organized by time period, beginning with early hunter-gatherer societies and the first farmers of Mesoamerica and concluding with a discussion of the Spanish Conquest and frontiers and peripheries of Mesoamerica. Topical and comparative articles comprise the remainder of Handbook. They cover important dimensions of prehispanic societies--from ecology, economy, and environment to social and political relations--and discuss significant methodological contributions, such as geo-chemical source studies, as well as new theories and diverse theoretical perspectives. The Handbook concludes with a section on the archaeology of the Spanish conquest and the Colonial and Republican periods to connect the prehispanic, proto-historic, and historic periods. This volume will be a must-read for students and professional archaeologists, as well as other scholars including historians, art historians, geographers, and ethnographers with an interest in Mesoamerica.

Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue

Author: Unesco

Publisher: UNESCO

ISBN: 9231040774

Category: Political Science

Page: 402

View: 7739

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This report analyses all aspects of cultural diversity, which has emerged as a key concern of the international community in recent decades, and maps out new approaches to monitoring and shaping the changes that are taking place. It highlights, in particular, the interrelated challenges of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue and the way in which strong homogenizing forces are matched by persistent diversifying trends. The report proposes a series of ten policy-oriented recommendations, to the attention of States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, international and regional bodies, national institutions and the private sector on how to invest in cultural diversity. Emphasizing the importance of cultural diversity in different areas (languages, education, communication and new media development, and creativity and the marketplace) based on data and examples collected from around the world, the report is also intended for the general public. It proposes a coherent vision of cultural diversity and clarifies how, far from being a threat, it can become beneficial to the action of the international community.