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Journal Article

The dynamics of men's cooperation and social status in a small-scale society


Redhead,  Daniel
Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Rueden, C. R. v., Redhead, D., O'Gorman, R., Kaplan, H., & Gurven, M. (2019). The dynamics of men's cooperation and social status in a small-scale society. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1908): 20191367. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1367.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-6804-3
We propose that networks of cooperation and allocation of social status co-emerge in human groups. We substantiate this hypothesis with one of the first longitudinal studies of cooperation in a preindustrial society, spanning 8 years. Using longitudinal social network analysis of cooperation among men, we find large effects of kinship, reciprocity and transitivity in the nomination of cooperation partners over time. Independent of these effects, we show that (i) higher-status individuals gain more cooperation partners, and (ii) individuals gain status by cooperating with individuals of higher status than themselves. We posit that human hierarchies are more egalitarian relative to other primates species, owing in part to greater interdependence between cooperation and status hierarchy.