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Mixed MessagesCultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society$
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Robert A. Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226240725

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241050.001.0001

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The Asymmetry of Cultural versus Genetic Reproduction

The Asymmetry of Cultural versus Genetic Reproduction

Chapter:
(p.152) Six The Asymmetry of Cultural versus Genetic Reproduction
Source:
Mixed Messages
Author(s):

Robert A. Paul

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226241050.003.0006

The incompatibility of cultural and genetic reproduction results in anti-sexual attitudes and institutions in human social life; these may be seen as varying ways in which a socio-cultural system restricts and contains the otherwise disruptive agenda of the genetic program. Five ethnographic cases are presented in some detail to illustrate different ways in which socio-cultural systems manifest the asymmetry between the wider tribal society reproduced by the transmission of symbols, and the social units that manage the biological reproduction necessary to the society’s maintenance over generational time. Cases include the Baining, Kaulong, High Caste Nepalis, Merina, and Igbo.

Keywords:   anti-sexual attitudes, asymmetry of culture, asymmetry of genetic programs, Baining, Kaulong, Nepalis, Merina, Igbo

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