Cultural Transmission and Evolution: A Quantitative Approach

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Princeton University Press, 1981 - Science - 388 pages
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A number of scholars have found that concepts such as mutation, selection, and random drift, which emerged from the theory of biological evolution, may also explain evolutionary phenomena in other disciplines as well. Drawing on these concepts, Professors Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman classify and systematize the various modes of transmitting "culture" and explore their consequences for cultural evolution. In the process, they develop a mathematical theory of the non-genetic transmission of cultural traits that provides a framework for future investigations in quantitative social and anthropological science.

The authors use quantitative models that incorporate the various modes of transmission (for example, parent-child, peer-peer, and teacher-student), and evaluate data from sociology, archaeology, and epidemiology in terms of the models. They show that the various modes of transmission in conjunction with cultural and natural selection produce various rates of cultural evolution and various degrees of diversity within and between groups. The same framework can be used for explaining phenomena as apparently unrelated as linguistics, epidemics, social values and customs, and diffusion of innovations. The authors conclude that cultural transmission is an essential factor in the study of cultural change.

  

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Contents

Introduction
3
12 The adaptiveness of behavior
4
13 Levels of learning
6
14 Innate and learned traits
7
15 Culture as the object of evolution
10
16 The measurement of selection in biology
11
17 Two levels of selection and two orders of organisms
14
18 Some examples from the evolution of languages
19
parent versus teachers
192
312 Kinetics of cultural change with oblique and horizontal transmission
202
313 Variation among transmission
204
314 Correlation of cultural and biological variation
216
Multiple State Traits
219
42 Vertical transmission for threestate models
222
43 Numerical examples of multistate transmission
238
44 Assortative mating
245

19 the diffusion of innovations
29
110 Epidemics
46
111 Cultural transmission
53
112 Transmission as a twostage process
62
113 A summary of evolutionary factors in culture
65
114 Some caveats and problems
69
Vertical Transmission
77
22 Vertical transmission
78
23 Special cases of vertical transmission
84
24 Correlations between relatives
91
25 Assortative mating
95
26 Natural selection
101
27 Mutation
107
28 Randomsampling drift
109
29 Drift and natural selection
121
210 Concluding remarks on vertical transmission
124
Oblique and Horizontal Transmission
130
32 Oblique and vertical transmission with natural selection
133
33 Sexinfluenced transmission
143
34 Horizontal transmission
151
35 Sibsib interactions
154
36 Migration dependent on extent of separation
157
37 Migration dependent on extent of separation
173
38 Population stratification
177
39 The recent demographic transition as an example of stratified vertical and oblique or horizontal transmission in cultural change
180
Vertical and oblique transmission
189
45 Horizontal and oblique transmission
251
An example of drift in multistate cultural transmission
255
Cultural Transmission For a Continuous Trait
267
52 Linear transmission
275
53 Correlations between relatives
279
54 Multivariate linear models
286
55 Social stratification class and caste
293
56 Natural selection range attenuation and their effects on the correlations between relatives
300
57 Mutation and cultural drift for continuous traits
307
58 Upper limits to individual variation under cultural drift
314
59 Variation between groups
317
510 Cultural selection versus cultural drift
319
511 Simple social hierarchies and compartments
332
Teachers vs parents
334
Epilogue
340
62 Harmony and conflict of cultural and natural selection
342
63 Cultural transmission communication and cultural selection
346
64 Modes of transmission and their consequences for rates and equilibria under cultural evolution
351
65 Chance and purpose in cultural variation
357
66 Overlaps with other areas of study
359
67 Individual selection and group selection
361
68 Cultural activity as an extension of Darwinian fitness
362
Bibliography
367
Index
383
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About the author (1981)

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is Professor of Genetics Emeritus at Stanford Medical School, and Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His books include "History and Geography of Human Genes" and "Genes, Peoples, and Languages." Antonio Moroni is Professor Emeritus of Ecology at the University of Parma (Italy) and member of the National Academy of Sciences (Academy of XL). Gianna Zei was Professor of Statistics and Biometry at the University of Pavia and directs the population genetics group of the CNR Institute of Molecular Genetics in Pavia.

Marcus W. Feldman is Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University.

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