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The appalling appeal of nature: the popular influence of evolutionary psychology as a problem for sociology

Jackson, S. and Rees, A. (2007) The appalling appeal of nature: the popular influence of evolutionary psychology as a problem for sociology. Sociology, 41 (5). pp. 917-930. ISSN 0038-0385

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Abstract

Evolutionary psychology represents a major challenge to sociology, since it claims to provide an alternative, more `objective' account of the human condition and of social problems. It receives widespread media coverage and has a firm hold on the popular imagination. In comparison, sociological accounts of society and identity play only a minor role in public debates. We argue that, as `public intellectuals', it is the responsibility of sociologists to contest these impoverished representations of social life. In order to do so successfully, it is necessary first to examine the popular appeal of evolutionary psychology, which rests on the narrative strategies employed to link human origins with contemporary social problems, and second, to take up the challenge of engaging with less reductionist scientific accounts of the potential biological basis of society.

Item Type: Article
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2009 13:00
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2009 13:00
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038507080445
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038507080445
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7532

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