chapter  2
16 Pages

Domesticating practices: the case of Arabian babblers

ByVinciane Despret

Primatologists Shirley Strum and Linda Fedigan note, in their introductory chapter to the book Primate Encounters , the considerable change in scholars’ interpretation of primate behavior:

We have moved from a general vision that primate society revolves around males and is based on aggression, domination, and hierarchy to a more complex array of options based on phylogeny, ecology, demography, social history and chance events. The current image of primate society [. . .] would be a strong counterpoint to the earlier view. It would highlight the importance of females within society, emphasize tactics other than aggression (particularly those that rely on social fi nesse and the management of relationships), and argue that hierarchy may or may not have a place in primate society, but that males and females are equally capable of competition and rank ordering.