Contemporary articles citing Maryanski A (1992) Social Cage Human Na
evolutionary, explain, psychology, empirical, human, inequality, sex, stratification, existing, religious
- Hopcroft, Rosemary. 2009. "The Evolved Actor in Sociology." Sociological Theory. 27:4 390-406.
- In this article, I show that principles from both evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology inform a model of the actor that is usually implicit in sociological research on the family and social stratification. Making this evolved actor model explicit can unify and explain existing empirical sociological findings in these areas, and suggest new hypotheses for future research. I suggest the same is true in many other areas of sociology as well, and that explicitly incorporating a fully developed evolved actor model into sociology can both unify the discipline and reconnect it with the other life sciences.
- Abrutyn, Seth. 2009. "Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy." Sociological Theory. 27:4 449-465.
- Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, ``outside in'' perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the ``inside out,'' or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the ``new institutionalism'' to fill in this gap, a closer look at the literature will uncover the fact that (1) it has tended to conflate macro-level institutions and meso-level organizations and (2) this has led to a taken for granted approach to institutional dynamics. This article seeks to develop a general theory of institutional autonomy; autonomy is a function of the degree to which specialized corporate units are structurally and symbolically independent of other corporate units. It is argued herein that the process by which these ``institutional entrepreneurs'' become independent can explain how institutions become differentiated from the ``inside out.'' Moreover, this article offers five dimensions that can be operationalized, measuring the degree to which institutions are autonomous.
- Doane, R. 2006. "Digital Desire in the Daydream Machine." Sociological Theory. 24:2 150-169.
- This article analyzes the sociality of illegal file sharing as one domain of teletechnology, using poststructural theory to conceptualize the file-sharing setting. It reveals the assumptions about file sharing in popular media, and demonstrates how the persistence of illegal file sharing across racial, economic, and status lines might be attributed to psychological and neurophysiological causes. To conclude, I consider the implications of poststructuralism for extension and synthesis in future social theory.
- Horne, C. 2004. "Values and Evolutionary Psychology." Sociological Theory. 22:3 477-503.
- Scholars suggest that evolutionary psychology may provide a foundation for assumptions regarding human values. I explore this suggestion by developing two arguments regarding the permissiveness of norms regulating male and female sexual activity. The first relies on the standard rational choice assumption that people value resources, and the second relies on an assumption suggested by evolutionary psychology that actors value seeing their children successfully reach adulthood. These two assumptions produce contrasting predictions regarding sex norms. I describe the implications of these predictions for explaining cross-cultural variation and present evidence that supports the evolutionary psychology-based predictions in this context. I also suggest implications of the two approaches for explaining norms cross-nationally and within the United States. The article provides support for the utility of evolutionary psychology in developing assumptions about values.
- Savage, J & S Kanazawa. 2004. "Social Capital and the Human Psyche: Why Is Social Life ``capital''?." Sociological Theory. 22:3 504-524.
- In this article, we propose a revised definition of social capital, premised on the principles of evolutionary psychology. We define social capital as any feature of a social relationship that, directly or indirectly, confers reproductive benefits to a participant in that relationship. This definition grounds the construct of social capital in human nature by providing a basis for inferring the underlying motivations that humans may have in common, rather than leaving the matter of what humans use capital for unspoken. Discussions and empirical reviews are presented on the innateness of human sociability, sex differences in sociability, and psychological mechanisms that mediate sociability.
- Huber, J. 2004. "Lenski Effects on Sex Stratification Theory." Sociological Theory. 22:2 258-268.
- This paper tries to explain why the Lenski (1970) theory of stratification based on ecology and subsistence technology had relatively little effect on theories of sex inequality. In cultural anthropology, generalization was held to be impossible. Feminist explanation in sociology was social-psychological. Moreover, by the 1980s, the bias against biology in feminist theory came to include all of science. Exceptions to these trends include the work of Blumberg, Chafetz, Collins, Coltrane, and Turner. Whether feminist sociologists will follow their lead remains to be seen.
- Nielsen, F. 2004. "The Ecological-evolutionary Typology of Human Societies and the Evolution of Social Inequality." Sociological Theory. 22:2 292-314.
- Gerhard Lenski's ecological-evolutionary typology of human societies, based on the level of technology of a society and the nature of its physical environment, is a powerful predictor of various dimensions of social inequality. Analysis of comparative data shows that while some dimensions of the stratification system (such as measures of social complexity) exhibit a monotonic trend of increasing inequality with level of technology from the hunting-and-gathering to the agrarian type, others (such as measures of freedom and sexual inequality among males) exhibit a pattern of ``agrarian reversal'' in which inequality increases from the hunting-and-gathering to the advanced horticultural type but then declines with the agrarian type. Theoretical and empirical implications of the agrarian reversal pattern for the study of social inequality are discussed.
- Hammond, M. 2003. "The Enhancement Imperative: the Evolutionary Neurophysiology of Durkheimian Solidarity." Sociological Theory. 21:4 359-374.
- Durkheimian solidarity, especially in regard to religion, is reanalyzed in terms of recent developments in the neurosciences and evolution. Neurophysiological studies indicate that religious arousers can piggyback on reward circuitry established by natural selection for interpersonal attachments. This piggybacking is rooted in uneven evolutionary changes in cognitive capacities, emotional arousal capabilities, and pre-conscious screening rules for rewarding arousal release. Uneven development means that only a special class of enhanced arousers embedded in macro social structures can tap some of the reservoirs of expanded arousal release protected by these screening rules. It becomes imperative that part of collective social life offers these special arouser packages. Beginning with religion and inequality, the social construction of enhanced arousers leaves a trail across human history. However, this trail is not quite what Durkheim had in mind.
- Hopcroft, RL. 2001. "Theoretical Implications of Regional Effects." Sociological Theory. 19:2 145-164.
- Local economic institutions (systems of property rights and rules of land use) influenced the course of economic change in European history, as well as state formation and religious change. In this paper, I outline the theoretical implications of these regional effects. None of our existing macrolevel theories and explanations of the ``rise of the West'' can adequately incorporate them, so I present an alternative theory, based on rational choice premises. Yet the existence of these regional effects also highlights the deficiencies of a rational choice theoretical approach. First, the approach is unable to explain historical contexts, institutional legacies, or the effects of timing, which were vital for outcomes of social change but that lie outside the model itself. Second, although it can be very useful, the model of the actor motivated by material self-interest often proved inadequate in historical situations. Solutions are suggested.
- Kanazawa, S & MC Still. 2000. "Why Men Commit Crimes (and Why They Desist)." Sociological Theory. 18:3 434-447.
- Hirschi and Gottfredson (1983) claim that the relationship between age and crime is similar in all social and cultural conditions and that no current sociological or criminological theory can account for this similarity. We introduce the new field of evolutionary psychology and extend Daly and Wilson's (1988) work on homicide to construct a general theory of male criminality, which explains why merl commit violent and property crimes. The theory can also explain the age-crime curve. It might also account for some empirical anomalies such as why physically smaller boys are more delinquent, and why violent criminals desist more slowly.