Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

View Table of Contents

Get Email Updates

Risky Transactions

Trust, Kinship and Ethnicity

Edited by Frank K. Salter

320 pages, 22 figs, 1 map, 9 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-710-5 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (July 2002)

ISBN  978-1-57181-319-0 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (July 2002)


Hb Pb   Recommend to your Library

Trust is a central feature of relationships within the Mafia, oppressed minorities, kin groups everywhere, among dissidents, nationalist freedom fighters, ethnic tourists, ethnic middlemen, exchange networks of Kalahari Bushmen, and families subjected to Stalinist social control. Each of these types of trust is examined by a leading scholar and compared with the expectations of neo-Darwinian theory, in particular the theories of kin selection and ethnic nepotism. The result is a fascinating, theoretically focused yet empirically eclectic contribution to the overlapping fields of human ethnology, evolutionary psychology, and bio-politics. The common thread uniting these diverse phenomena is a trusting relationship predicated on altruism. Chapters examine the strengths and limits of human trust under various stressers and temptations to defect.

By exploring the relationship between kin and ethnic altruism and showing its sensitivity to culture, Risky Transactions recasts the evolutionary approach to ethnicity as a blend of primordial and instrumental factors.

Frank K. Salter is a Researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Behavioral Physiology and the Center for Human Sciences, University of Munich.

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology
Area:

LC: GN365.9 .R57 2002

BL: YC.2002.a.16115

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; SOC026000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Sociology/General

BIC: JHM Anthropology; JHB Sociology




Contents

Acknowledgements

PART I: INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1. From Mafia to freedom fighters: Questions raised by ethology and sociobiology
Frank K. Salter

PART II: ETHNOGRAPHY

Chapter 2. Taking the risk out of risky transactions: A forager's dilemma
Polly Wiessner

PART III: PSYCHOLOGICAL MECHANISMS

Chapter 3. Kith-and-kin rationality in risky choices: Theoretical modeling and cross-cultural empirical testing
X.T.Wang

Chapter 4. Altruism begins at home: Evidence for a kin selection heuristic sensitive to the costs and benefits of helping
Eugene Burnstein, Christine Branigan and Grazyna Wieczorkowska-Nejtardt

PART IV: RISKY BUSINESS, ILLICIT AND LICIT

Chapter 5. Mafia and blood symbolism
Anton Blok

Chapter 6. Cognitive and classificatory foundations of trust and informal institutions: A new and expanded theory of ethnic trading networks
Janet T. Landa

PART V: OPPRESSED FAMILIES AND MINORITIES

Chapter 7. Risky transactions under a totalitarian regime: The Romanian case
Carmen Strungaru

Chapter 8. Strategies for mitigating risk among Jewish groups
Kevin MacDonald

PART VI: AIDS, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, AND TOURISM

Chapter 9. Ethnicity, transactional risk of HIV, and male homosexual partnering behaviour
James N. Schubert and Margaret Ann Curran

Chapter 10. Dialect, sex and risk effects on judges' questioning of counsel in Supreme Court oral argument
James N. Schubert, Steven A. Peterson, Glendon Schubert and Stephen L .Wasby

Chapter 11. Risk and deceit in transient, non-repeated interactions: The case of tourism
Pierre L. van den Berghe

PART VII: EVOLUTIONARY SYNTHESES

Chapter 12. Ethnic solidarity as risk avoidance: An evolutionary view
Peter Meyer

Chapter 13. Ethnic nepotism as a two-edged sword: The risk-mitigating role of ethnicity among mafiosi, nationalist fighters, middlemen, and dissidents
Frank K. Salter

Notes on contributors
Bibliography
Index

Back to Top