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Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave…
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Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society

by Bernard Chapais

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It's that time of year again where I'm finally finishing my textbooks. This one was a kicker. The information is fantastic, new and far-reaching on the research scale. My problem? That I was forced to read it in the first place - I don't like to read when someone tells me I have to read. It was also full of anthropological jargon. My Anth. jargon is fairly good, but I had to really concentrate to get through this book. But again, material-wise, I'm positive this is a very very important book. I love evolution so when I did finally get down to the basic formula that Chapais was spelling out, it was a treat. Definitely only a book for those in the field. ( )
  Kassilem | Apr 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674046412, Paperback)

At some point in the course of evolution—from a primeval social organization of early hominids—all human societies, past and present, would emerge. In this account of the dawn of human society, Bernard Chapais shows that our knowledge about kinship and society in nonhuman primates supports, and informs, ideas first put forward by the distinguished social anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss.

Chapais contends that only a few evolutionary steps were required to bridge the gap between the kinship structures of our closest relatives—chimpanzees and bonobos—and the human kinship configuration. The pivotal event, the author proposes, was the evolution of sexual alliances. Pair-bonding transformed a social organization loosely based on kinship into one exhibiting the strong hold of kinship and affinity. The implication is that the gap between chimpanzee societies and pre-linguistic hominid societies is narrower than we might think.

Many books on kinship have been written by social anthropologists, but Primeval Kinship is the first book dedicated to the evolutionary origins of human kinship. And perhaps equally important, it is the first book to suggest that the study of kinship and social organization can provide a link between social and biological anthropology.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:19 -0400)

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