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Biosociology of Dominance & Deference

by Allan Mazur

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Biology¿?¿perhaps the most exciting science of the last half-century¿?¿is reaching into scholarly disciplines throughout academia, yet sociology has barely entertained it. The reasons for hesitation are clear enough. Sociobiology and ethology have been unappealing to sociologists because they explain human behavior the same way they explain the behavior of social insects, fish, and birds; often evoking images of sexism and Social Darwinism, both anathemas to modern sociologists. Nonetheless, sociologists do show growing interest in biology and what it can contribute to their discipline. In this short, engaging volume Allan Mazur develops new and sociologically sophisticated concepts to bring these fields together. His book is about the social biology of face-to-face dominance interactions and it explores the evolution of behavior through connections among biology, language, culture, and socialization. Topics include comparative primate behavior, physiological and brain mechanisms underlying status processes, and the relevance of the body surface (face, physique, gestures) to status allocation. The book is meant to be a self-contained exploration¿?¿sociologists would require no prior knowledge of biology; biologists would require no prior knowledge of sociology¿?¿and a fun, informative supplement for courses throughout sociology and the social sciences.… (more)

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