The adaptive nature of culture Academic Article uri icon


  • Some have argued that the major contribution of anthropology to science is the concept of culture. Until very recently, however, evolutionary anthropologists have largely ignored culture as a topic of study. This is perhaps because of the strange bedfellows they would have to maintain. Historically, anthropologists who claimed the focus of cultural anthropology tended to be anti-science, anti-biology, or both. Paradoxically, a segment of current mainstream cultural anthropology has more or less abandoned culture as a topic. It is particularly ironic that in spite of a growing awareness among evolutionary anthropologists that culture is critical for understanding the human condition, the topic of culture has fallen out of favor among many "cultural" anthropologists.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Alvard, M. S.

citation count

  • 76

complete list of authors

  • Alvard, MS

publication date

  • January 2003