HUMAN SOCIALITY AND BIOLOGY
Human sociality is the necessary ground for all areas of human social interactions (Enfield & Levinson 2006:2). But the range and variety of human societies with habits, norms, ecologies, institutions and so on is dizzyingly diverse. Altruistic behaviour in social groups continues to be a much debated question and is set against the selfishness axiom. But research has shown that prosocial behaviour is rewarded in society, even at great cost as is its opposite, anti—social behaviour which is punished. The question currently being asked has to do with motives and cost. Henrich, Boyd, Bowels, Camerer, Fehr and Gintis (2004:9) remark that, … [a] vast amount of ethnographic and historical research suggests that social preferences are likely to be influenced by the economic, social, and cultural environment. Humans live in societies with different forms of social organization and institutions, different kinship systems, and diverse ecological circumstances; varying degrees of market integration demonstrate quite different kinds of social behavior. Many of these behavioral patterns do seem to reflect local context, circumstances, and culture. However, while ethnographic and historical methods provide rich contextualized details about the lives of individuals and the practices of groups, they can only yield circumstantial evidence about human motives. As the longstanding, fundamental disagreements within the cultural and historical disciplines attest, many different models of human action are consistent with the ethnographic and historical record.
An investigation into human sociality as it currently operates is often, in academic contexts, focused on Westerners. In the experiments conducted by Henrich et al. (2004:16-18) they do not. They distinguish between different societies all of which exhibit characteristics of sociality, but have different environments, access resources in various ways, speak totally different languages, have different economic bases, style of residence, size and arrangement of cooperation in terms of social institutions and settlement sizes. These range from horticulturalists, horticulturalists/foragers, agro-pastoralists, nomadic groups, sedentary nomadic groups, to semi-nomadic groups. The complexity of their societies also differs widely. Henrich et al. (2004:18) use well established anthropological classifications to explicate the variety of possible ways to live together; they explain how decision-making happens in the various groups currently from family to multiclan chiefdoms,… [f]amily-level societies consist of economically independent families that lack any stable governing institutions or organizational decision— making structures beyond the family. Societies classified as Family plus extended ties are similar to family-level societies, except that such groups also consistently exploit extended kin ties or non-kin alliances for specific purposes such as warfare. In these circumstances decision-making power is ad hoc, ephemeral, and diffuse, but high status males often dominate the process
In terms of bands, the next stratum, Henrich et al. (2004:16) say, Bands consist of both related and unrelated families that routinely cooperate in economic endeavors. Decision-making relies heavily on group consensus, although the opinions of high status males often carry substantial weight.
The next grouping which Henrich et al. (2004:17-18) examine in terms of sociality are clans and villages:
Clans and villages are both corporate groups of the same level of complexity, and both are usually larger than bands. Clans are based on kinship, tracked by lineal descent from a common ancestor. Decision- making power is often assigned based on lineage position, but prestige or achieved status may play a role …. Villages operate on the same scale of social and political organization as clans, but consist of several unrelated extended families. Decision-making is usually vested in a small cadre of older, high-status men who may compete fiercely for prestige.
Clans can be grouped into multiclan corporations (ibid):
At a larger scale of organization, multiclan corporate groups are composed of several linked clans, and are governed by a council of older high-status men – assignment to such councils is often jointly determined by lineal descent and achieved prestige. Multiclan corporations sometimes act only to organize large groups in times of war or conflict, and may or may not play an important economic role.
The largest non-Western groupings which Henrich et al. (2004:18) investigated, on the assumption they would exhibit sociality traits were chiefdoms, described thus,
Often larger than multiclan corporations, Chiefdoms [sic] are ruled by a single individual or family and contain several ranked clans or villages. Rank of individuals, clans, and villages usually depends on real or customary blood relations to the chief. Economic organization and integration in chiefdoms are more intense than in multiclan corporate groups, and chiefs usually require subjects to pay taxes or tribute. Such payments allow for the large-scale construction of irrigation works, monuments, and public buildings, as well as the maintenance of standing armies.
We cannot presume that this reflects the earliest way human sociality developed or that we can make assumptions about the dimmest biological beginnings. Certainly Niccol’s satire is not about groups smaller than chiefdoms. But from a biological view, the collective intentionality, the capacity to categorise and process information and joint problem solving related to pattern recognition underpin all these societies. The unique human characteristics of sociality — “cooperation, commensality, morality […] capacity for intention attribution, planned deception, and the highly structured nature of social interaction” to form interdependent networks (Enfield & Levinson 2006:2) is evident in any human society.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCING THE STUDY
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.4 OUTLINE OF THE CHAPTERS .
CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
2.2 BRIEF OUTLINE OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMANITIES
2.3 HUMAN SOCIALITY AND BIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3: COGNITION, SATIRE AND ITS OBJECT IN NICCOL’S FILM S1MONE
3.3 SATIRE: SEEKING A BIOCULTURAL DEFINITION
3.4 HOLLYWOOD AS THE OBJECT OF NICCOL’S SATIRE
CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS OF S1mOne — A BIOCULTURAL APPROACH
4.2 THE TRANSMISSION OF COGNITION ON THE NARRATIVE LEVEL
4.3 THE TRANSMISSION OF COGNITION THROUGH EXTERNAL REFERENCES
4.4 PROPAGATING COGNITION THROUGH SATIRE
4.5 THE BIOLOGICAL TRAITS FOR SURVIVAL
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
Bioculturalism, simulation and satire