Biologists on sociocultural evolution: A critical analysis

Sociological Theory 5 (2):185-193 (1987)
Four theoretical monographs, written by biologists in the wake of the sociobiology debate, and which treat, or purport to treat, the topic of sociocultural evolution are examined in this paper. On the biosocial spectrum they range from Trivers' pure sociobiology, to Lumsden and Wilson's sociobiology "in drag," to Boyd and Richerson's genuinely dual approach, to Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman's purely cultural transmission and evolution. The latter is likely to prove of greatest interest to social scientists and represents a major advance in theorizing mathematically about social change. While the most comprehensive, Boyd and Richerson's "dual inheritance" model ultimately places more emphasis on the biological evolution of the capacity for culture than on genuine gene/culture coevolution even though it is conceivable that cultural transmission and evolution could be providing the selective force responsible for some fundamental biological phenomena such as sexual reproduction in long-lived vertebrates for example. The relationship between contemporary evolutionary and non-evolutionary theories of social change is not dealt with here but the former are very relevant to the latter because evolutionists believe they have available sophisticated solutions to problems which continue to plague other theoretical traditions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/201939
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,587
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
22 ( #261,995 of 2,235,705 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #267,900 of 2,235,705 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature