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Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective (Evolutionary Foundations of Human Behavior) Hardcover – December 31, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lee Cronk is associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. Napoleon Chagnon is professor of anthropology, emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. William Irons is professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois.


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Product Details

  • Series: Evolutionary Foundations of Human Behavior
  • Hardcover: 527 pages
  • Publisher: Aldine Transaction (December 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0202020436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0202020433
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,507,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Cronk is a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1989. His first book, That Complex Whole: Culture and the Evolution of Human Behavior, explored the possibility of developing an approach to the study of human behavior that incorporates both evolutionary theory and the concept of culture. Long-term fieldwork in Kenya led to his second book, From Mukogodo to Maasai: Ethnicity and Cultural Change in Kenya. It explores the past, present, and future of ethnic identity among the Mukogodo, a small group of Maasai-speaking pastoralists. Cronk's latest book, co-authored with political scientist Beth L. Leech, is titled Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation, and was recently published by Princeton University Press. Cronk and Leech's blog about cooperation can be found at meetingatgrandcentral.com. He has also co-edited two volumes. Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective, co-edited with William Irons and Napoleon Chagnon, is a collection of theoretical and empirical chapters by leading figures in the field of human behavioral ecology. Through the Looking Glass: Readings in Anthropology, co-edited with Vaughn M. Bryant, Jr., is designed for use in introductory anthropology classes. He has also published articles in American Anthropologist, Current Anthropology, Evolution and Human Behavior, Human Nature, Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Ethnology, Human Ecology, PLOS One, and other journals. Cronk's current research and writing projects focus on such topics as cooperation, risk-pooling, and the relationship between culture and behavior.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Gintis on November 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The greatest error in social theory throughout the 20th century was the belief that humans are so different from other species that none of the tools normally used to study behavior in non-humans is applicable to the study of behavior in humans. Usually this was supported by arguing that human culture is so variable and human nature so malleable that we have virtually completely transcended our animal roots.
E. O. Wilson's great book, Sociobiology (1975) changed all that. Despite ferocious opposition to the idea that humans are animals deeply affected by their evolutionary history (Wilson was called a racist and a fascist by very eminent biologists and anthropologists), a whole generation of young researchers got the message, and began producing extremely valuable studies confirming that many aspects of human psychology and human social organization could be better appreciated by treating humans as the product of evolution, and using methods little different from the study of primates, and even birds and insects.
This book is an edited collection of some of the major research efforts undertaken by these evolutionary psychologists, sociobiologists, and behavioral ecologists. The research is for the most part not armchair theorizing, but the analysis of painfully collected and minutely analyzed data on small scale societies. After two chapters of nicely developed theory, the book offers five chapters on mating, followed by another five chapters on parenting.
The book then attacks a major problem in sociobiology: the demographic transition, which occurred in Europe a century ago, and is occuring in many developing nations today.
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15 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Matt Nuenke http://eugenics.home.att.net on January 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book brings together some of the best minds to discuss what we
know about evolutionary strategies for mating, parenting, reproduction
and altruism. It consists of numerous studies showing the universality
of human behavior, and how different ecologies result in different
local behaviors, all the while conforming to our innate algorithms.
That is, how nature and nurture combine resulting in our modern
societies, and how our maladaptations with regards to rep[17~roduction
and altruism are a result of our technology changing the rules of
adapted strategies. Such things as birth control have now unlinked
male social displays of wealth and dominance that once led to
reproductive success.
But the best part of the book is the Statement
of Theories. It is a lucid history of how cultural anthropology has
all but abandoned the scientific empiricism for a politically driven
agenda of cultural determinism. That is, while these radical
environmentalists were criticizing evolutionary approaches without
coming up with alternative theories, evolutionary theorists were
charging ahead, making phenomenal progress in understanding human
nature. It explains again how detractors such as Sahlins, Gould,
Lewontin, Kamin, Rose, et al., with their condemnation of the
evolutionary perspective, without providing alternative hypotheses,
have actually accelerated the progress made in linking humans to all
other organisms in an evolutionary explanation of how we interact with
the world about us.

Overall, this book is must
reading, especially for anyone interested in demographics, parenting,
and reproduction rates of different population groups.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Marin on September 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book arrived in adequate time and was in great condition. There was no trouble with delivery, it was on time.
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