Found 925 Documents across 93 Pages (0.047 seconds)
  1. The origin of the state: land productivity or appropriability?Mayshar, Joram - Journal of Political Economy, 2022 - 4 Hypotheses

    The authors evaluated an alternative theory to the traditional productivity theory. They posit that food surplus did not precede the emergence of hierarchy, rather, the productivity advantage of cereal cultivation over tubers and roots as the catalyst for state societies. Their theory found support with a sample of societies from the present-day, Classical Antiquity, Neolithic period and pre/post Columbian Exchange. The results suggest social complexity emerged with cereal cultivation, rather than agriculture alone.

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  2. A quantitative analysis of intensification in the ethnographic recordSandeford, David S. - Nature Human Behaviour, 2021 - 2 Hypotheses

    The author evaluates predictions from the standard model of intensification of food production and suggests it be rejected based on an analysis of 40 societies. The standard model proposes that food producers will increase their energy input until the maximum possible output is achieved, at which point output and labor productivity will fall and producers will invent or adopt new technologies. He then proposes a different model, which he terms the cultural niche construction model. The cultural niche construction model proposes that societies will minimize their energy input while maximizing their returns through continual technological adaptation and niche construction. After predictions from this second model are tested, the author suggests tentatively accepting the cultural niche construction model as a new framework to explain transitions to complex societies.

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  3. Toward a theory of punctuated subsistence changeUllah, Isaac I. T. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015 - 1 Hypotheses

    The authors use a comparative ethnoarchaeological model that seeks to test the applicability of Dynamical Systems Theory to modeling subsistence variation (namely the foraging-farming transition). The authors utilize the concepts of "attractors," which tend to stabilize a system, and "repellors," which tend to be destabilizing forces. Authors hope that this multidimensional approach, which assumes that several "controlling" variables disproportionately affect change within subsistence systems, will adequately model the nonlinearity and heterogeneity seen in the emergences of (and variations within) human subsistence systems throughout human history. Their model and premises regarding disproportionally-controlling variables appear to be supported.

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  4. Socioecology shapes child and adolescent time allocation in twelve hunter-gatherer and mixed-subsistence forager societiesLew-Levy, Sheina - Nature Scientific Reports, 2022 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper seeks to understand the roles played by children and adolescents in hunter-gatherer societies in relation to their social and ecological context. The authors set out to investigate how environmental factors, ecological risk, and the energetic contributions of adult men and women to food production may have influenced children/adolescent allocation of time to child care, domestic work, food production, and play. In order to carry out this study, the authors logged the behaviors of 690 children and adolescents from twelve hunter-gatherer and mixed-subsistence societies (Agta, Aka, Baka, BaYaka, Dukha, Hadza, Matsi-genka, Maya, Mayangna, Mikea, Pume, and Tsimane), totaling 85,597 unique observations. The study found that harsh environmental factors were not associated with child/adolescent time allocation, but that local ecological risk such as dangerous animals and lack of water availability predicted decreased time allocation to child care and domestic work, and that increased adult female participation in food production was associated with less time invested in child care among boys. It also found that all gendered differences in time allocation among children were stronger when men made greater contributions to food production than women. The authors interpret these results to signify that parents may play a role in preparing their children for environmental and ecological difficulty in order to help them develop skills that will help them become useful community members as adults.

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  5. The origins of the economy: a comparative study of distribution in primitive and peasant economiesPryor, Frederic L. - , 1977 - 39 Hypotheses

    Considerable disagreement exists in regard to the origin and distribution of economic phenomena such as money, slavery, markets, exchange, and imbalanced transfers. Here the author utilizes a worldwide cross-cultural sample of 60 pre-industrial "societies" to empirically test many economic hypotheses, with a focus on distributional mechanisms and institutions.

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  6. Slavery as an industrial systemNieboer, H. J. - , 1900 - 1 Hypotheses

    This book investigates the conditions necessary for the success of slavery as an industrial system. Findings indicate that free land and subsistence dependent on capital are necessary for the existence of slavery.

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  7. Does land quality increase the power of traditional leaders in contemporary Africa?Baldwin, Kate - The Journal of Politics, 2022 - 4 Hypotheses

    This paper examines the influence of traditional leaders, or "chiefs," in sub-Saharan Africa, and how their power varies within and among 19 African countries. The authors argue that the power of traditional chiefs is influenced not only by state policies of indirect rule, as previous research has suggested, but also by local factors such as land quality. They find that traditional chiefs have more power in areas with higher agricultural potential and land quality, likely because citizens in these areas rely on traditional chiefs to define and defend their land rights beyond the protections provided by state institutions. The authors suggest that while land quality may not have been an important factor in state formation in the pre-colonial period, it has become increasingly important in the past half century as population densities have increased and agriculture has become more intensive. Controls are also introduced.

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  8. Intensification, tipping points, and social change in a coupled forager-resource systemFreeman, Jacob - Human Nature, 2012 - 4 Hypotheses

    The authors present a bioeconomic model of hunter-gatherer foraging effort to quantitatively represent forager intensification. Using cross-cultural data, the model is evaluated as a means to better understand variation in residential stability and resource ownership.

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  9. Evolution of family systems and resultant socio-economic structuresItao, Kenji - Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 2021 - 2 Hypotheses

    This study explores the evolution of family systems in non-industrial agricultural societies based on environmental conditions. First, the authors conduct a multi-evolutionary simulation for each family system: absolute nuclear families (nuclear with unequal inheritance), egalitarian nuclear families (nuclear with equal inheritance), stem families (extended families with unequal inheritance), and community families (extended families with equal inheritance). Second, they use Spearman's rank correlation analyses to assess the relation between the 186 non-industrial societies and the types of inheritance relationships, either parent-child (nuclear or extended) or inter-sibling (strongly biased or equal). The results show that the four core family systems are related to wealth and land resources. Other relevant findings are that low polygyny is related to agricultural societies, higher poverty levels to extended families, and accelerated wealth accumulation to strongly biased inheritance.

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  10. Pathways to social inequalityHaynie, Hannah J. - Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2021 - 4 Hypotheses

    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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