Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Evolutionary Anthropology Society
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Resilience
Secondary Theme: Evolution
For humans, social resources are as vital as food, water and shelter, and in fact, the latter are rarely accessible without the former. We rely on social learning for our subsistence, social support networks for buffering against misfortune, coalitions for pursuing collective endeavors, and kinship structures for raising children and passing on wealth and traditions across generations. Evolutionary anthropology provides tools for researchers to measure and test how we interact with our social environment and understand how sociality affects our wealth, health, and well-being. In this session, we will hear a diverse range of talks, all focused on understanding how humans utilize social capital to face environmental unpredictability and resource scarcity. The aim of our session, in an age of increasing concerns about global socio-economic and health inequality, is to clarify and refine the insights that a biocultural approach can bring to the understanding of human sociality. The talks will cover a variety of topics, including the impact of social networks on wealth inequality; the role of leadership structures in organizing collective action; investment in new social partnerships in times of resource scarcity; the effect of personal perception and trust of healthcare professionals versus access in determining treatment-seeking behavior; and finally, variation in partner preference according to resource availability.