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acta ethologica

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 101–102 | Cite as

Review of: Holland, M (2012) Social bonding and nurture kinship: compatibility between cultural and biological approaches. North Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

  • Stuart Semple
Book Review

When it comes to the investigation of human social bonding and kinship, it is fair to say that sociobiologists and sociocultural anthropologists have shared little common ground. There are few areas of research where disagreements between cognate disciplines have been so frequent and long-running, or so strongly argued. It is easy to see why such division has occurred. Attempts to explain human social behaviour using fundamental biological theory have very largely been unsuccessful, with the predicted patterns failing to match the evidence from ethnographic research. At the same time, sociocultural anthropologists have railed against what they perceive to be the simplistic nature—and unreasonable assumptions—of the hypotheses proposed by sociobiologists.

The premise of Holland’s book (a reproduction of his 2004 PhD thesis, with a new preface added) is that this impasse is not insurmountable. On the contrary, he proposes that when it comes to understanding human social behaviour,...

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ISPA 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of RoehamptonLondonUK

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