- The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society
- About the Editor
- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Evolution, Biology, and Society
- Divergence and Possible Consilience Between Evolutionary Biology and Sociology
- Sociology’s Contentious Courtship with Biology: A Ballad
- Edward Westermarck: The First Sociobiologist
- Discovering Human Nature Through Cross-Species Analysis
- The Neurology of Religion: An Explanation from Evolutionary Sociology
- Reward Allowances and Contrast Effects in Social Evolution: A Challenge to Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Modernity
- Sex Differences in the Human Brain
- The Savanna Theory of Happiness
- How Evolutionary Psychology Can Contribute to Group Process Research
- The Genetics of Human Behavior: A Hopeless Opus?
- DNA Is Not Destiny
- On the Genetic and Genomic Basis of Aggression, Violence, and Antisocial Behavior
- Genetics and Politics: A Review for the Social Scientist
- Genes and Status Achievement
- Peer Networks, Psychobiology of Stress Response, and Adolescent Development
- Stress and Stress Hormones
- Social Epigenetics of Human Behavior
- Physiology of Face-to-Face Competition
- Evolutionary Behavioral Science: Core Principles, Common Misconceptions, and a Troubling Tendency
- Evolutionary Family Sociology
- Evolution and Human Reproduction
- Evolution, Societal Sexism, and Universal Average Sex Differences in Cognition and Behavior
- Evolutionary Theory and Criminology
- The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity
- Human Sociosexual Dominance Theory
- From Paganism to World Transcendence: Religious Attachment Theory and the Evolution of the World Religions
- The Evolutionary Approach to History: Sociocultural Phylogenetics
- Why Sociology Should Incorporate Biology
Abstract and Keywords
During its emergence as a new academic discipline in the late 19th century, sociology was influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. By the mid-20th century, however, biological thinking in general and evolutionary theory in particular had waned in influence in American sociology. This began to change during the last quarter of the 20th century—a development due in large part to the work of Edward O. Wilson, a prominent biologist and one of the founders of sociobiology. By the dawn of the 21st century, evolutionary thinking had again gained a foothold in the social sciences, including sociology. However, full consilience between evolutionary biology and sociology has not yet been achieved. This chapter reviews issues in terms of which evolutionary biology and sociology converge in some instances and diverge in others. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the prospects for the development of a robust evolutionary sociology.
Richard Machalek is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Wyoming. He studies and writes about the evolution of social behavior among both humans and nonhuman species. He is especially interested in the distribution of basic forms of social organization and interaction across species lines.
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