ERIC Number: ED200460
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Towards a Biosocial Perspective: Suggestions from a Biologist.
Written by a biologist, this paper is intended to present information on the sociological study of man from a biological perspective. Perspectives include that (1) sociology neglects biological variables that are part of understanding human behavior and human societies; (2) the sociobiological or evolutionary view of human development is inadequate to the task of relating biology to the sociological realm and represents a narrow and biased view of human nature; and (3) that the views and approaches of psychologist T.C. Schneirla and his students have been overlooked by sociology and have much to offer the sociologist who seeks a more complete understanding of human social behavior. More specifically, review of the work of Schneirla, a comparative psychologist who devised a theory and methodology for the comparative study of human behavior based on the behavior of army ants, can provide sociologists with understanding of the complementarity of field and experimental lab research, an evolutionary approach to physical and behavioral studies of different species, the application of a comparative method based on process rather than analogy or homology, a sensitivity to the dissimilarities as well as the similarities among species or behaviors, and a conception of a dynamic integrative process. Schneirla's approach can be particularly useful in studying phenomena such as feminism--a subject in which topics including inherent gender differences have been often misinterpreted by sociobiologists. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (New York, NY, August, 1980).