chapter  9
13 Pages

Social Stratifi cation, the Genome, and Social Structure

This chapter explores the evolutionary origins of stratifi cation and its neurohormonal underpinnings. The status striving that eventually leads to SES stratifi cation is a hard-wired behavior because high status equals increased fi tness. However, I want to allay concerns that some may have that all this talk of hard-wiring means that social class is fi xed (biologically inherited) across generations and that social structure does not matter. I show that social structure matters immensely because it determines the extent to which genes matter for the attainment of social status. Personal traits have a large impact on achieving social class level in some societies, but hardly at all in others. I also want to show that social class cannot be genetically fi xed by brief discussions of regression to the mean, the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and decreased assortative mating, all of which contribute to mixing-up the classes in modern societies.