1st Edition

Hybrid Communities
Biosocial Approaches to Domestication and Other Trans-species Relationships

ISBN 9781138893993
Published August 14, 2018 by Routledge
306 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

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Book Description

Domestication challenges our understanding of human-environment relationships because it blurs the dichotomy between what is artificial and what is natural. In domestication, biological evolution, environmental change, techniques and practices, anthropological trajectories and sociocultural choices are inextricably interconnected. Domestication is essentially a hybrid phenomenon that needs to be explored with hybrid scientific approaches.

Hybrid Communities: Biosocial Approaches to Domestication and Other Trans-species Relationships attempts for the first time to explore domestication viewed from across disciplines both in its origins and as an ongoing process. This edited collection proposes new biosocial approaches and concepts which integrate the methods of social sciences, archaeology and biology to shed new light on domestication in diachrony and in synchrony.

This book will be of great interest to all scholars working on human-environment relationships, and should also attract readers from the fields of social anthropology, archaeology, genetics, ecology, botany, zoology, history and philosophy.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors

Introduction - Charles Stépanoff and Jean-Denis Vigne

Part I: Liminal processes: beyond the wild and the domestic

1. A genetic perspective on the domestication continuum - Laurent A. F. Frantz and Greger Larson

2. Self-domestication or human control? The Upper Palaeolithic domestication of the wolf - Mietje Germonpré, Martina Lázničková-Galetová, Mikhail V. Sablin and Hervé Bocherens

3. Beyond wild and domestic: human complex relationships with dogs, wolves, and wolf-dog hybrids - Nicolas Lescureux

4. Wild game or farm animal? Tracking human-pig relationship in ancient times through stable isotope analysis - Marie Balasse, Thomas Cucchi, Allowen Evin, Adrian Bălăşescu, Delphine Frémondeau and Marie-Pierre Horard-Herbin

5. Arable weeds as a case study in plant-human relationships beyond domestication - Amy Bogaard, Mohammed Ater and John G. Hodgson

Part II: How domestication changes humans’ bodies and sociality

6. From fighting against to becoming with: viruses as companion species - Charlotte Brives

7. Milk as a pivotal medium in the domestication of cattle, sheep and goats - Mélanie Roffet-Salque, Rosalind E. Gillis, Richard P. Evershed and Jean-Denis Vigne

8. Watching the horses: the impact of horses on early pastoralists’ sociality and political ethos in Inner Asia - Gala Argent

Part III: Shared places, entangled Lives

9. Growing a shared landscape: plants and humans over generations among the Duupa farmers of northern Cameroon - Éric Garine, Adeline Barnaud and Christine Raimond

10. Fig and olive domestication in the Rif, northern Morocco: entangled human and tree lives and history - Yildiz Aumeeruddy-Thomas and Younes Hmimsa

11. Cooperating with the wild: past and present auxiliary animals assisting humans in their foraging activities - Edmond Dounias

12. Why did the Khamti not domesticate their elephants? Building a hybrid sociality with tamed elephants - Nicolas Lainé

13. Cognition and emotions in dog domestication - Sarah Jeannin

Part IV: Ongoing transformations

14. Domestication and animal labour - Jocelyne Porcher and Sophie Nicod

15. Human-dog-reindeer communities in the Siberian Arctic and Subarctic - Konstantin Klokov and Vladimir Davydov

16. Domesticating the machine? (Re)configuring domestication practices in robotic dairy farming - Séverine Lagneaux

17. From parasite to reared insect: humans and mosquitoes in Réunion Island - Sandrine Dupé


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Charles Stépanoff is a social anthropologist (Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, École pratique des hautes études, Sorbonne, France). His research interests include human-animal relationships in hunting, herding and shamanism in North Asia.

Jean-Denis Vigne is an archaeologist (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelles, Sorbonne Universités, France). His research interests lie in archaeozoology, focused on interaction dynamics between animals and human societies, namely domestication, since the last hunters to the preindustrial farmer societies, mostly in the Mediterranean area, Southwest Asia and Central Asia and China.