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Institutions : The Evolution of Human Society (Hardcover)

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As the sequel to Groups: The Evolution of Human Sociality (Trans Pacific Press, 2013), this book has broadened the discussion to examine the actions of people, apes and monkeys in terms of 'what they do' by forming groups or in-groups. In Institutions, the shared processes and practices that facilitate coexistence in groups, are examined from an evolutionary historical perspective. Co-authors are researchers from the field of anthropology in a broad sense, including sociological primatology, ecological anthropology and sociocultural anthropology. The chapters examine institutions from a diverse range of perspectives, including encountering death, children's games, conflict and peace, cattle rustling and mathematical proofs. In terms of non-human primates, the study focusses on 'pre-institutional' phenomena, such as relations established through 'call and response' patterns and food sharing and forms arguments as to whether the concept of institutions can be applied to these settings. As the chapters in this volume establish, the argument that language is a prerequisite for the establishment of institutions has indeed been surpassed.

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