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FCS presents at the Social Inequality Before Farming? Conference

FCS’s Rachel Reckin recently presenting our paper entitled Learning Egalitarianism: A Cross-Cultural Review of Forager Children at the Social Inequality Before Farming? conference in Cambridge, U.K. We had a blast, and our looking forward to sharing our eventual book chapter on the topic with you all!


Abstract: Though archaeologists have long explored how immediate return, egalitarian foragers transitioned to delayed-return, non-egalitarian practices, the role of children in this transition has routinely been ignored. This is surprising, since evolutionary anthropologists and psychologists alike have noted that children’s participation and innovation in daily life may be the starting point for important cultural and subsistence changes. In order to address this gap, the present paper explores how social relationships and ideas that account for egalitarianism and inequality, shape the way in which forager children learn to hunt, gather and socialise. In order to do so, we use a meta-ethnographic method, and describe the various ways in which egalitarianism tempers how children in immediate return foraging societies learn, and the role children play in the diffusion of innovations. We then explore the role that children may have played in the transition from egalitarian immediate-return foraging to delayed-return non-egalitarian systems, an important precursor to farming.


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