Anthropology and War

Anthropologists have long been fascinated with the subjects of war and aggression. Over the years, there have been numerous theories regarding the origin of human aggression and warfare. Some anthropologists have posited an innate drive or even gene for human aggression, seeing, perhaps, a killer ape as a human ancestor. Others have looked at socialization and enculturation processes as the source of individual aggression and warfare. Out of these basic ideas have sprung many refinements, leading to particular theories of aggression and warfare. This entry discusses anthropological theories of war and violence and examines the involvement of anthropologists during wartime.

Anthropologists have looked at warfare as a political relationship between groups in which groups use or threaten to use force against each other. Violence, real or ...

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