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- DescriptionAs social and symbolic animals - animals with language and systems of signs - humans are informed by two different kinds of heritage, one biological, the other cultural. Scholars have tended to study our genetic and symbolic lineages separately, but in recent years some have begun to explore them together, offering a dual inheritance theory. In this book, Robert A Paul offers an entirely new and original consideration of our dual inheritance, going deep inside an extensive ethgraphic record to outline a fascinating relationship between our genetic codes and symbolic systems. Examining a wide array of cultures, Paul reveals how the inherent tensions between these two modes of transmission generate many of the features of human society, such as marriage rules, initiation rituals, gender asymmetry, and sexual symbolism. Exploring differences in the requirements, range, and agendas of genetic and symbolic reproduction, he shows that a properly conceived dual inheritance model does a better job of accounting for the distinctive character of actual human societies than either evolutionary or sociocultural construction theories can do alone. Ultimately this book offers a powerful call for a synthesis of the traditions inspired by Darwin, Durkheim, and Freud-one that is critically necessary if we are to advance our understanding of human social life.
- Author BiographyRobert A. Paul is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University. He is the author of Moses and Civilization and The Tibetan Symbolic World, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.
- Author(s)Robert A. Paul
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication08/05/2015
- SubjectCultural Studies
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight612 g
- Width90 mm
- Height60 mm
- Spine28 mm
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