Most anthropologists agree that a comprehension of adaptation and adaptive processes is central to an understanding of human biological and behavioural systems. However, there is little agreement among archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and human biologists as to what adaptation means and how it should be analyzed. Because of this lack of a common underlying theory, method, and perspective, the subdisciplines have tended to move apart, and anthropology is no longer the integrated science envisaged at its inception in the nineteenth century. In this book, the authors–both biological and cultural anthropologists–use a common theoretical framework based on recent evolutionary, ecological, and anthropological theory in their analyses of biological and social adaptive systems. Although a synthesis of the subdisciplines of anthropology lies somewhere in the future, the original essays in this volume are a first attempt at a unified perspective.
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About the Author
Dr. Rada Dyson-Hudson is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Cornell University. In the past, she was associate professor and research associate in the Department of Pathobiology at the School of Hygiene, Johns Hopkins University. Her attempt to reconcile the implications of natural selection theory with a commitment to social equality led to a rethinking of human adaptation and, among other things, the organization of the symposium at the American Anthropological Association of which this book is a result. Dr. Michael A. Little is professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He has been scientific coordinator of the Human Adaptability Section of the International Biological Program and is coauthor of Ecology, Energetics, and Human Variability (1976).
Table of ContentsAlso of Interest -- Introduction -- An Interactive Model of Human Biological and Behavioral Adaptation -- Evolutionary Ecology and the Analysis of Human Social Behavior -- Nutrition and High Altitude Adaptation: An Example of Human Adaptability in a Multistress Environment -- Evolutionary Biology and the Human Secondary Sex Ratio: Sex Ratio Variation in the United States -- Noble Family Structure and Expansionist Warfare in the Late Middle Ages: A Socioecological Approach -- Woman Capture as a Motivation for Warfare: A Comparative Analysis of Intra-Cultural Variation and a Critique of the "Male Supremacist Complex" -- Mobility as a Negative Factor in Human Adaptability: The Case of South American Tropical Forest Populations -- An Overview of Adaptation