Pathways to social inequality

Evolutionary Human Sciences Vol/Iss. 3(e35) Cambridge University Press Cambridge Published In Pages: 1-14
By Haynie, Hannah J., Kavanaugh, Patrick H., Jordan, Fiona M. , Ember, Carol R. , Gray, Russell D. , Greenhill, Simon J. , Kirby, Kathryn R. , Kushnick, Geoff , Low, Bobbi S., Tuff, Ty, Vilela, Bruno, Botero, Carlos A. , Gavin, Michael C.


In this study, the authors examine pathways to social inequality, specifically social class hierarchy, in 408 non-industrial societies. In a path model, they find social class hierarchy to be directly associated with increased population size, intensive agriculture and large animal husbandry, real property inheritance (unigeniture) and hereditary political succession, with an overall R-squared of 0.45. They conclude that a complex web of effects consisting of environmental variables, mediated by resource intensification, wealth transmission variables, and population size all shape social inequality.

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