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The behavioural ecology and evolutionary implications of hunter-gatherer social organisation

Dyble, MJ; (2016) The behavioural ecology and evolutionary implications of hunter-gatherer social organisation. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Much that is remarkable about human behaviour relates in some way to our advanced social cognition. Understanding why this advanced social cognition evolved benefits from an understanding of the kind of social organisation that is promoted by hunting-and-gathering, the dominant mode of subsistence throughout most of human evolutionary history. In this thesis, I explore the social organisation of hunter-gatherers in general and of the Palanan Agta in particular. In chapter four, I present data that demonstrate that, like many small-scale hunter-gatherer societies, the Agta live in small groups of fluid composition in which a large number of unrelated individuals co-reside. I present the results of a model that simulates the process of camp assortment and which suggests that sex equality in residential decision making may serve to constrain group relatedness. In chapter five, I challenge traditional biological conceptions of relatedness, arguing that under conditions of stable pair-bonding, individuals can derive inclusive fitness benefits through aiding affinal kin. In chapter six, I explore multilevel social organisation among the Agta and argue that it serves to provide individuals with access to the range of social relationships required to overcome both short-term variability in foraging returns and long-term energetic deficits resulting from the demands of having an energetically expensive life-history strategy.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The behavioural ecology and evolutionary implications of hunter-gatherer social organisation
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Hunter-gatherer, Anthropology, Evolution, Inclusive fitness, Agta, Philippines, Human Behavioural Ecology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503771
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