Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dynamics in Human and Primate SocietiesAgent-Based Modeling of Social and Spatial Processes$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Timothy A. Kohler and George J. Gumerman

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195131673.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Agent-Based Modeling of Small-Scale Societies: State of the Art and Future Prospects

Agent-Based Modeling of Small-Scale Societies: State of the Art and Future Prospects

(p.373) Agent-Based Modeling of Small-Scale Societies: State of the Art and Future Prospects
Dynamics in Human and Primate Societies

Henry T. Wright

Oxford University Press

The thematic social sciences—economics, political science, psychology, and so on—often privilege that aspect of human action on which they focus. Can we fruitfully understand change in human affairs from the perspectives of these disciplines? Philosophers have (for millennia), and anthropologists and geographers (for little more than a century) have said "no," and have attempted to view human phenomena as a totality. Anthropology, a holistic discipline, at its best integrates human biology, cultural anthropology or ethnology, psychological anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. But the task is daunting, and has led often to elegant, but very specific case studies. However, new theoretical approaches to nonlinear and adaptive systems and to modeling such approaches give hope that rigorous general formulations are possible. The Culture Group of the Santa Fe Institute focuses on long-term stability and transformation in cultural developments. In December 1997, with the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, a diversity of researchers gathered in Santa Fe to assess the progress of this working group and to chart future directions. We had many fruitful exchanges, ranging from general theoretical problems of cultural change and its explanation to the specifics of modeling actual cultural processes. The touchstones of the discussions were breakthroughs in the modeling of small-community networks in southwestern North America, but new developments in other theoretical and empirical areas also proved important in pointing toward future efforts. This volume presents the much discussed and revised papers from the Santa Fe meeting. The conference began, as does this volume, with overviews of the state of the art of modeling. George Gumerman, in his preface, touches on the roots of modeling whole social and cultural systems in North America, threads of inquiry which are picked up in many chapters of this volume. Tim Kohler, in his elegant introduction argues the advantages of agent-based modeling as the resolution of several outstanding problems in traditional social science. Nigel Gilbert then provides rich insight into recent work in Europe, little known to many North American social scientists outside the modeling community.

Keywords:   abstract social processes, altruism, division of labor, evolutionary theory, hierarchical control models, learning, second-order emergence models

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .