Cultural evolution of kinship diversity: the micro and macro of talking about family (Professor Fiona Jordan, University of Bristol)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 13th February 2020
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
  • Add this event to my calendar

    When you click on "Add this event to my calendar" your browser will download an ics file.

    Microsoft Outlook: Download the file, then you may be able to click on "Save & Close" to save it to your calendar. If that doesn't work go into Outlook, click on the File tab, then on Open, then Import. Select "Import an iCalendar (.ic or vCalendar file (.vcs)" then click on Next. Find the .ics file and click on OK.

    Google Calendar: download the file, then go into your calendar. On the right where it says "Other calendars" click on the arrow icon and then click on Import calendar. Click on Browse and select the .ics file, then click on Import.

    Apple Calendar: download the file, then you can either drag it to Calendar or import the file by going to File > Import > Import and choosing the .ics file.

Humans have a variety of mating and marriage systems, and societies vary in the ways in which they classify family. This variation is not without limits, and explaining constraints and diversity invites a multi-level evolutionary perspective. In this talk Fiona will describe the VariKin project, a multidisciplinary approach to understand the patterned variation in human kinship systems. The team brings together theory and method across anthropology, linguistics, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and computational methods. They have results from large cross-cultural analyses using comparative phylogenetic methods, studies of the patterns of frequency of use in different language varieties, and insights into child acquisition and use from fieldwork in a Datooga community in Tanzania. Our framework takes inspiration from Tinbergen's four questions towards illuminating a longstanding enquiry into human variability.