Inujjuamiut Foraging Strategies: Evolutionary Ecology of an Arctic Hunting Economy (Foundations of Human Behavior)

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9780202011820: Inujjuamiut Foraging Strategies: Evolutionary Ecology of an Arctic Hunting Economy (Foundations of Human Behavior)

Humans have spent most of their evolutionary history in foraging economies. Inujjuamiut Foraging Strategies evaluates the utility of models drawn from evolutionary ecology, including optimal foraging theory, in analyzing the subsistence economy of a contemporary hunting-gathering people. It synthesizes the theory and analytical techniques of evolutionary ecology and microeconomics with the general concern of anthropology, especially ecological anthropology.

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About the Author:

Eric Alden Smith is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington. Educated at University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A.) and Cornell University (Ph.D.), he is a specialist in Native American ethnography, ecological and economic anthropology, and evolutionary theory. He and Bruce Winterhalder have edited the seminal Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies, and they are currently completing a volume surveying the application of evolutionary ecology to human behavior. Dr. Smith's next major project involves an analysis of the economic and demographic history of the Inujjuaq region.

Review:

"The most comprehensive anthropological application of optimal foraging theory to date. This book should serve as a basic text for OFT, Darwinian anthropology, and economic anthropology for years to come."

American Journal of Human Biology 

“Optimal foraging theory is one of the more interesting recent additions to ecological anthropology, and Eric Smith is one of its most devoted practitioners. . . . It is well organized and clearly written. . . .The book’s value to both teachers and students is enhanced by its comprehensive review of the relevant theoretical and methodological literature. Smith criticizes much that is happening in contemporary hunter-gatherer studies, ecological anthropology, and even anthropology in general, and he responds to a variety of criticisms others have made of optimal foraging theory. . . .This is an important book, primarily for its theoretical and methodological contributions. I expect that it will prove to be a major landmark in ecological anthropology.”

—Ernest S. Burch, Jr., American Anthropologist

“Smith has made a most serious effort to open Inuit research to a wider theoretical horizon. He has also, albeit to a lesser degree, contributed significantly to Eskimo ethnology, notably in his analysis of Inujjuamiut cooperative foraging and by elaborating on the mixed economy concept.”

—George W. Wenzel, Arctic Anthropology

“Smith provides a thoughtful exploration of alternative ways to combine energetic and monetary costs and benefits.”

—Kristen Hawkes, American Ethnologist

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Smith, Eric Alden
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