Kin terms and fitness interdependence

Lee Cronk, Dieter Steklis, Netzin Steklis, Olmo van den Akker, C Athena Aktipis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although genetic relatedness has been shown to be an important determinant of helping and other forms of cooperation among kin, it does not correspond well to the different types of kin designated by the kin terminologies used in human societies. This mismatch between genetic relatedness and kin terms has led some anthropologists to reject the idea that kin terms have anything to do with genetic relatedness or anything else biological. The evolutionary and cultural anthropological approaches can be reconciled through an appreciation of the concept of fitness interdependence, defined as the degree to which two or more organisms positively or negatively influence each other's success in replicating their genes. Fitness interdependence may arise for a variety of reasons, including not only genetic relatedness but also mating and marriage, risk-pooling, mutual aid, and common group membership. The major kin term systems correspond to cross-culturally variable but recurrent patterns of fitness interdependence among different types of kin. In addition, changes from one kin term system to another are associated with corresponding changes in recurrent patterns of fitness interdependence among kin, and kin terms are often used metaphorically in situations in which fitness interdependence has arisen among non-kin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Anthropology
Marriage
Terminology
genetic relationships
fitness
relatedness
Genes
marriage
terminology
aid
Kin Terms
Interdependence
Fitness
organisms
gene
genes

Keywords

  • Fitness interdependence
  • Genetic relatedness
  • Kin terms
  • Kinship
  • Kinship terminologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Kin terms and fitness interdependence. / Cronk, Lee; Steklis, Dieter; Steklis, Netzin; van den Akker, Olmo; Aktipis, C Athena.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cronk, Lee ; Steklis, Dieter ; Steklis, Netzin ; van den Akker, Olmo ; Aktipis, C Athena. / Kin terms and fitness interdependence. In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2019.
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