From Experiential-based to Relational-based Forms of Social Organization: A Major Transition in the Evolution of Homo sapiens

In Social Brain, Distributed Mind. The British Academy. pp. 199-229 (2010)
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The evolutionary trajectory from non-human to human forms of social organization involves change from experiential- to relational-based systems of social interaction. Social organization derived from biologically and experientially grounded social interaction reached a hiatus with the great apes due to an expansion of individualization of behaviour. The hiatus ended with the introduction of relational-based social interaction, culminating in social organization based on cultural kinship. This evolutionary trajectory links biological origins to cultural outcomes and makes evident the centrality of distributed forms of information for both the boundary and internal structure of human societies as these evolved from prior forms of social organization.

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Dwight Read
University of California, Los Angeles


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