Resolving a decades long divide between what are often held to be incommensurate paradigms, Social Bonding and Nurture Kinship
unites cultural and biological approaches to social life and kinship. The synthesis is non-reductive, respecting the core tenets of both paradigms, and also incorporates psychological attachment theory into the account.
Praised by adherents of both perspectives, the work provides an exhaustive survey of the theoretical debates and empirical findings across a wide array of disciplines, providing students of social behaviour and kinship with a rich and comprehensive resource. This work is a powerful example of how social and physical sciences can unite on equal terms, without the danger of one being subsumed by the other. Both approaches emerge stronger as a result. Early Reviews:
• "Maximilian Holland gets to the heart of the matter concerning the contentious relationship between kinship categories, genetic relatedness and the prediction of behavior. If he had been in the debate in the 1980s then a lot of subsequent confusion could have been avoided."
- Robin Fox, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers. NAS Member
• "A landmark in the field of evolutionary biology, which places genetic determinism in the correct perspective."
- Folia Primatologica Journal
• "Max Holland has demonstrated extraordinarily thorough scholarship in his exhaustive review of the often contentious discussions of kinship. He has produced a balanced synthesis melding the two approaches exemplified in the biological and sociocultural behavioral positions. His work in reconciling opposing views clearly demonstrates the value of interdisciplinary approaches. This should be the definitive word on the subject."
- Irwin Bernstein, Distinguished Research Professor of Primatology, Georgia
• "A brilliant discussion of the relationship between kinship and social bonding as understood in evolutionary biology and in sociocultural anthropology."
- Kirk Endicott, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth
• "Max Holland has provided a wide-ranging and deeply-probing analysis of the influence of genetic relatedness and social context on human kinship. He argues that while genetic relatedness may play a role in the evolution of social behavior, it does not determine the forms of such behavior. His discussion is exemplary for its thoroughness, and should inspire more nuanced ventures in applying Darwinian approaches to sociocultural anthropology."
- Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Colombia. Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
• "Unlike many commentators who have tackled kinship in the context of biology, Holland takes culture seriously and deals fairly with Schneider’s arguments. He acknowledges, correctly in my opinion, that culture and biology are both important but are largely relevant to separate questions. This book helps to untangle a long-standing disciplinary muddle."
- Richard Feinberg, Professor of Anthropology, Kent State