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The homeopathy of kin selection: An evaluation of van den Berghe’s sociobiological approach to ethnicity

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The present discussion of sociobiological approaches to ethnic nepotism takes van den Berghe’s theory as a starting point. Two points, which have not been addressed in former analyses, are considered to be of particular importance. It is argued that the behavioral mechanism of ethnic nepotism—as understood by van den Berghe—cannot explain ethnic boundaries and attitudes. In addition, I show that van den Berghe’s central premise concerning ethnic nepotism is in contradiction to Hamilton’s formula, the essential principle of kin selection theory. It is further discussed how other approaches which make reference to ethnic nepotism are related to van den Berghe’s account and its problems, including remarks on the evolutionary explanation of ethnic phenomena.

  • Date created
    2001
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3N873D75
  • License
    © 2001 I. Brigandt et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Brigandt, I. (2001). The homeopathy of kin selection: An evaluation of van den Berghe’s sociobiological approach to ethnicity. Politics and the Life Sciences, 20(2), 203-215. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0730938400005487
  • Link to related item
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0730938400005487