Cross-Cultural Correlates of the Ownership of Private Property: A Look from Another Data Base

Anthropologica Vol/Iss. 34(1) Canadian Anthropology Society Vancouver, CA Published In Pages: 71-88
By Rudmin, Floyd Webster


Certain characteristics of societies will be significantly correlated in the same direction with both Swanson's (1966) and Murdock's (1967) measures of private property ownership.


The 32 variables used in the present test were coded by Swanson and were found to be significantly and reliably correlated with Murdock's measures of similar variables. Of these 32 variables, 10 were found to be significantly correlated in some way with the private ownership of property. The seven significant positive predictors are agriculture in grain, size of the population, social classes, sovereign organization, primogeniture, active ancestral spirits, and supernational sanctions for morality. The three significant negative predictors are collecting and gathering, hunting, and outgroup intimacy.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall CorrelationSupport for 10 of the 32 variables - see note for directionsp < 0.05 for 10 of the 32 variablesMultiple r valuesUNKNOWN