Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality: Volume 1: A Comparative Biosocial Analysis

Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality: Volume 1: A Comparative Biosocial Analysis

by Lee Ellis


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This is the first book devoted exclusively to the study of social stratification from a biosocial perspective. The biosocial perspective explicitly assumes that both biological and social environmental factors are important for explaining behavior, including behavior surrounding the formation of hierarchies and unequal distribution of resources. In a variety of ways the contributors to this volume address the issue of how biological factors may interact with social experiences to affect social stratification.

Chapters 1 and 2 present a detailed review of the issues surrounding how social stratification is defined and subdivided. Chapter 3 takes the reader back to the first six civilizations that evolved on earth and provides a historical picture of social stratification, which served the reproductive interests of a small proportion of males who wielded great political and economic power. In Chapter 4, the nature of social stratification in traditional Arab cultures is explored, and the author hypothesizes why different types of stratification systems may have evolved throughout the world. In Chapter 5, the authors provide evidence that genetics are among the factors that contribute to variations in income and wealth. Chapter 6 provides suggestions about how group differences in social stratification may have evolved. The authors contend that sexual selection may be at the heart of the evolution of social stratification, and present a theory as to how it may have happened. Chapter 7 also focuses upon sex as a central variable in social stratification, specifically, how sex hormones alter brain functioning and how these alterations underlie many of the tendencies that men and women have to gravitate toward different types of occupations. In Chapter 8, a general theory of social stratification is presented. It is offered as a specific alternative to the two strictly environmental theories that dominate: functionalist and conflict theories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275932626
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/30/1993
Series: Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

LEE ELLIS is Professor of Sociology at Minot State University in North Dakota. He is the author of Theories of Rape: Inquiries into the Causes of Sexual Aggression (1989), and Research Methods in the Social Sciences: A Practical Introduction (forthcoming, 1993), and the co-editor of Crime in Biological, Social,

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lionel Tiger


Conceptually Defining Social Stratification in Human and Nonhuman Animals by Lee Ellis

Operationally Defining Social Stratification in Human and Nonhuman Animals by Lee Ellis

Sex, Succession, and Stratification in the First Six Civilizations: How Powerful Men Reproduced, Passed Power on to Their Sons, and Used Power to Defend Their Wealth, Women, and Children by Laura Betzig

Social Status and Values in Traditional Arab Culture by Glenn E. Weisfeld

Intergenerational Links in Earnings, Income, and Wealth in the United States: Evidence for the Contribution of Genetic Factors by Jere R. Behrman and Paul Taubman

Sexual Selection and the Sexual and Ethnic Basis of Social Hierarchies by Felicia Pratto, Jim Sidanius, and Lisa M. Stallworth

Sex Differences in Human Stratification: A Biosocial Perspective by Katharine Blick Hoyenga

A Biosocial Theory of Social Stratification: An Alternative to Functional Theory and Conflict Theory by Lee Ellis



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