Abstract and Keywords
The concept of fictive kinship as used in the social sciences is ambiguous, but can be understood to reflect social understanding of the lack of biological relatedness between individuals or groups in contexts that are nevertheless deemed important enough for affinity to be designated. Because social and genetic kinship are generally congruent, kin labels and other cues to genetic kinship are likely related to evolved psychological mechanisms associated with kin recognition and altruistic dispositions. As these cues are subject to error and manipulation, altruistic behavior, including forms not subject to reciprocity and inclusive fitness calculations, may be induced through kin cue manipulation. This chapter reviews the arguments and literature associated with fictive kinship and induced altruism, and describes a test of the induced human altruism model. It is hypothesized that organizations and institutions requiring costly sacrifice by their members will tend to develop similar practices associated with kin cue manipulation. Support for this hypothesis is drawn from two examples of costly, unreciprocated altruism in nonkin settings: lifelong vows of celibacy and suicide bombing.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.