Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ancestral Landscapes in Human EvolutionCulture, Childrearing and Social Wellbeing$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Darcia Narvaez, Kristin Valentino, Agustin Fuentes, James J. McKenna, and Peter Gray

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964253.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism

Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism

Chapter:
(p.192) 8 Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism
Source:
Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution
Author(s):

Peter Gray

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964253.003.0014

Social play requires that players adopt an egalitarian attitude, because domination by one will lead others to quit. Across animal species there appears to be a correlation between amount of social play and egalitarian life style. Hunter-gatherer cultures are the most egalitarian of all human cultures, and they also appear to be the most playful. The primary thesis presented here is that hunter-gatherers more or less deliberately cultivate the playful side of their human nature in order to maintain the egalitarian attitude necessary to cooperate and share as intensively as they must for their way of life. This thesis is developed through examining the playfulness of hunter-gatherer games, religious practices, productive work, approaches to correcting those who have violated a norm, and approach to childhood education.

Keywords:   hunter-gatherers, play, playfulness, teasing, egalitarianism, cooperation, dominance hierarchies

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .