Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality - Vol. 2

Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality - Vol. 2

Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality - Vol. 2

Social Stratification and Socioeconomic Inequality - Vol. 2


This is the second volume of a two volume work on biosocial approaches to social stratification and human inequality. The volume considers linkages between gender and stratification; between neurohormonal variables and status; and between health, reproduction, and social status. The contributors explore topics that environmentalists shun, and discuss how the effect of biological variables on social stratification may have evolutionary consequences.


In this second of two volumes on biosocial approaches to the study of social stratification and human inequality, contributors explore many topics that environmentalists shun. The topics include how a number of biological variables relate to social stratification and how these relationships may have evolutionary consequences.

The ability to look at the interplay among biological and social variables and how they may impact social stratification adds depth to a flat environmentalist landscape. A biosocial approach also injects a dynamic flux to social stratification by opening the door to the reproductive consequences of unequal access to resources. Finally, a biosocial approach encourages comparisons of different forms of social stratification, not only across cultures but even across species.

This second volume consists of ten chapters, which may be thought of as divided into three sections. The first section consists of two chapters that focus on linkages between gender and social stratification.

In Chapter 1, Michael Wiederman and Elizabeth Allgeier argue that one of the main criterion used by women throughout the world for selecting mates is a male's probability of being a "good provider." The authors reason that this female preference has been favored by natural selection. If the preference were entirely rational in its motivation, one would expect poorer women to be more concerned with "good provider" qualities than women who come from wealthy families. To the contrary, Wiederman and Allgeier show that these preferences are positively correlated with a woman's social status background. Once . . .

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