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A Cooperative SpeciesHuman Reciprocity and Its Evolution$
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Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151250

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151250.001.0001

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Socialization

Socialization

Chapter:
(p.167) 10 Socialization
Source:
A Cooperative Species
Author(s):

Samuel Bowles

Herbert Gintis

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151250.003.0010

This chapter examines socialization and the process by which social norms become internalized, how this capacity for internalization could have evolved, and why the norms internalized tend to be group-beneficial. It begins with a discussion of cultural transmission and how it overrides fitness by taking account of two facts. First, the phenotypic expression of an individual's genetic inheritance depends on a developmental process that is plastic and open-ended. Second, this developmental process is deliberately structured—by elders, teachers, political leaders, and religious figures—to foster certain kinds of development and to thwart others. The chapter then introduces a purely phenotypic model in which, as a result of the effectiveness of socialization, a fitness-reducing norm may be maintained in a population. It also describes the gene-culture coevolution of a fitness-reducing norm before concluding with an analysis of the link between internalization of norms and altruism.

Keywords:   socialization, social norms, cultural transmission, fitness, phenotypic expression, genetic inheritance, fitness-reducing norm, gene-culture coevolution, internalization, altruism

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