By Eric Abella Roth
Distinct methods to the learn of human demography exist inside anthropology today--anthropological demography and human evolutionary ecology. Eric Roth reconciles those methods via acceptance of universal study subject matters and the development of a vast theoretical framework incorporating either cultural and organic motivation.
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Extra info for Culture, Biology, and Anthropological Demography (2004) (New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography)
From this totally adaptationist perspective comes the sense that “the genes hold culture on a leash. The leash is very long, but inevitably values will be constrained in accordance with their effects on the human gene pool” (Wilson 1978:167). Human evolutionary ecologists reject this doctrine of genetically determined human behavior; instead they use the conceptual tool known as “the phenotypic gambit” (Grafen 1984), in which phenotypes are assumed to be the product of natural selection but the exact nature of the genetic control of phenotypic design is ignored.
Since the publication of her model, fertility has fallen within sub-Saharan Africa, a finding that argues for human behavioral ecology’s stance that populations adaptively “track” environmental change, thus reestablishing a fit between parameters of environment and population. Dual Inheritance Theory The final entry under the banner of human evolutionary ecology is called, Dual Inheritance Theory (see Boyd and Richerson 1985, 1990, 1992; Durham 1991). This school recognizes culture as a system of inheritance in its own right, evolving in parallel with and yet separate from our genetic system of inheritance.
Classic cultural ecology (Moran 1979; Sato 1980) and cultural materialist (Harris and Ross 1987) perspectives on Rendille demography interpret all of the aforementioned behaviors as population-regulating cultural traits arising from the need to achieve and maintain resource– population equilibrium, yet these claims for demographic regulation by cultural means were never supported by demographic data. Indeed, the most complete argument for Rendille fertility and population growth regulation comes from Sato’s (1980) painstakingly complete modeling of Rendille camel herds, for which he produces far more complete fertility, mortality, and growth estimates than for Rendille human populations.
Culture, Biology, and Anthropological Demography (2004) (New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography) by Eric Abella Roth