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The Origins of Unfairness – Social Categories and Cultural Evolution - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Origins of Unfairness: Social Categories and Cultural Evolution

Cailin O'Connor


The central aim of this book is to explore the ways in which social categories—especially gender, but also categories like race and religion—interact with and contribute to social solutions to problems of coordination and resource division. In particular, this book uses formal frameworks—game theory and evolutionary game theory—to explore the cultural evolution of conventions that piggyback on seemingly irrelevant factors like gender and race. As I argue, these frameworks elucidate a variety of topics. In particular, these frameworks help show how inequity can emerge from simple processes of c ... More

Keywords: inequity, cultural evolution, game theory, gender, race, division of labor, social coordination, convention, norm change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198789970
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198789970.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cailin O'Connor, author
Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine