Category Archives: Egalitarian

The Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism

Play counters the tendency to dominate, in humans and in other mammals. Most remarkably, unlike any other people that have been studied, hunter-gatherers appear to lack hierarchy in social organization. They have no chief or big man, no leaders or … Continue reading

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Sex Equality can explain the unique Social Structure of Hunter-gatherers

The social organization of mobile hunter-gatherers has several derived features, including low within-camp relatedness and fluid meta-groups. Although these features have been proposed to have provided the selective context for the evolution of human hyper cooperation and cumulative culture, how … Continue reading

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How Hunter-Gatherers maintained their Egalitarian Ways

During the twentieth century, anthropologists discovered and studied dozens of different hunter-gatherer societies, in various remote parts of the world, who had been nearly untouched by modern influences. Wherever they were found–in Africa, Asia, South America, or elsewhere; in deserts … Continue reading

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Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence

Hunter-gatherers promoted, through cultural means, the playful side of their human nature and this made possible their egalitarian, nonautocratic, intensely cooperative ways of living. Hunter-gatherer bands, with their fluid membership, are likened to social-play groups, which people could freely join … Continue reading

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Egalitarian Societies

Greater equality of wealth, of power and of prestige has been achieved in certain hunting and gathering societies than in any other human societies. These societies, which have economies based on immediate rather than delayed return, are assertively egalitarian. Equality … Continue reading

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Leadership in an Egalitarian Society

Leadership is instrumental to the resolution of collective action dilemmas, particularly in large, heterogeneous groups. Less is known about the characteristics or effectiveness of leadership in small-scale, homogeneous, and relatively egalitarian societies, in which humans have spent most of our … Continue reading

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Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior

Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman … Continue reading

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Immediate Return vs. Delayed Return Societies

Read This characterisation is based on an analytical distinction between an ‘immediate-return’ hunter-gatherer economy and agricultural, herding or capitalist ‘delayed-return’ economies that is helpful for understanding the differences in approach to resource management and the environment. In delayed-return societies work … Continue reading

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The place of heteregeneous and egalitarian markets in a hybrid and plurarist P2P Polity

Read It is important to understand that while the P2P approach is opposed to the infinite growth mechanism that is capitalism, and to its exclusion of the majority of the people of the ownership of their means of production, it … Continue reading

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The Development of Egalitarianism, Altruism, Spite and Parochialism in Childhood and Adolescence

We study how the distribution of other-regarding preferences develops with age. Based on a set of allocation choices, we can classify each of 717 subjects, aged 8 to 17 years, as either egalitarian, altruistic, or spiteful. Varying the allocation recipient … Continue reading

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