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Cooperation and prosocial behaviour. Edited by Robert A. Hinde and Jo Groebel. New York Cambridge University Press. 1991. 365 pp. ISBN 0-521-39110-5. $75.00 (cloth)

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ticularly careless in view of the fact that
some of the book‘s chapters do mention the
convincing explanations that have been offered. We have, if anything, a surfeit of
convincing explanations, rather than a paucity that the AAT uniquely addresses. I enjoyed the book much more than I thought
I would, although I still wonder if it was
worth my time.
Department of Anthropology
Hartwick College
Oneonta, New York
and child-rearing practices. Miller et al. review the literature on the determinants of
prosocial behavior in children and find only
weak and inconsistent relationships with
cognitive, emotional, social, and other variables. They conclude that relatively altruisCooperation and Prosocial Behaviour was tic children tend to have advanced sociocogpublished as a companion to Aggression and nitive and empathy skills and describe the
War, an earlier volume by the same editors, types of socialization practices that promote
which reviewed the scientific evidence for these capacities. The next three chapters ofUNESCO’s 1986 “Seville Statement on Vio- fer cross-cultural perspectives. Triandis delence,” contradicting the popular belief that scribes differences between collective and
humans are biologically programmed to be- individualist societies. Stevenson discusses
have violently. The current volume uses a East Asian concepts and modes of teaching
similar multidisciplinary approach to exam- prosocial behavior and compares interacine the nature of prosocial behavior (i.e.,vol- tions in Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, and
untary behavior that benefits others) at dif- American children. In the sole article to use
ferent levels of social complexity. It offers an ethnographic material, Goody contrasts
eclectic collection of material reviewing var- child-rearing practices in nurturing, “peaceious facets of prosocial behavior (e.g., trust, ful” societies with aggressive, “fierce” ones.
altruism, cooperation, helping, and commit- In small-scale, egalitarian societies, optimal
ment) manifested by animals, children, conditions for teaching prosocial behavior
through modelling arise when groups are
adults, groups, societies, and nations.
The book’s 19 chapters are divided into not threatened by competition for subsisfive sections. The editors provide an intro- tence resources or by aggressive neighbors.
The third section emphasizes situational
ductory chapter as well as a brief essay introducing each section. The first two chap- and personality determinants of prosocial
ters focus on the evolutionary development behavior, including causes of helping (Fultz
of cooperative behavior. Harcourt discusses and Cialdini), and observer attributions and
why and when animals cooperate, with ex- perceptions of altruism (Swap). The authors
amples from numerous vertebrate species. conclude that these types of behavior usuBoyd and Richerson examine why humans, ally include some degree of self-interest. The
unlike all other animals, cooperate in large fourth section focuses on the dynamics of
groups of unrelated individuals. They offer a trust, commitment, and cooperation in inmodel that cultural group selection can lead terpersonal relationships assessed through
to the evolution of cooperation if variation hypothetical situations and experimental
between groups is maintained by “conform- laboratory games.
The fifth section offers an international
ist cultural transmission” (i.e., children disproportionately adopting the most common perspective on cooperation between groups,
including discussions of conflict resolution
variant among adult role models).
The next section explores the develop- studies (Rubin), UNESCO’s programs
ment of prosocial behavior in individuals (Mayor), and Soviet-American cooperation
and the relationship between societal values against terrorism during the cold war (BeliCOOPERATION
Edited by Robert A. Hinde and J o Groebel.
New York: Cambridge University Press.
1991. 365 pp. ISBN 0-521-39110-5.$75.00
aev and Marks). Czempiel presents a stimulating account of the role individual presidents have played in determining American
foreign policy towards the former U.S.S.R.
Cooperation and Prosocial Behaviour
brings together a rich collection of work on
prosocial behavior at the level of the individual, relationship, group, and nation. The
volume would have benefitted if the editorial reviews had made more of a n effort to
point out the connections between these levels of complexity and to produce a n integrated view. As it is, the reader confronts
myriad styles and approaches, with chapters ranging from philosophical essays to literature reviews to empirical reports. The
lack of a strong general framework often
makes the book seem, as Rubin (Chapter 15)
describes the state of interdisciplinary work
in conflict studies, “more like a circus tent
than a n umbrella, with beasts of different
stripe, size, and coloring all finding a place
under the Big Top” (p. 272).
The book‘s major shortcoming is that its
focus is limited to only a few industrialized
countries. Despite the global, multidisciplinary approach, limited use is made of material on nonliterate societies or non-Western or less developed countries. However,
the chapters in the second section suggest
that it might have been worthwhile to examine the nature of prosocial behavior in societies with scarce resources (e.g., developing
countries or Eastern Bloc countries under
communism) or in countries in which coop-
eration has been institutionalized in some
way (e.g., Israel’s kibbutzim). It would have
been fruitful to determine whether there are
“any general patterns which can be recognized a s ‘prosocial behavior’ and which appear in all kinds of society?” (Chapter 6).
These omissions may have been due to a
lack of adequate data. Nonetheless, a
broader comparative approach would have
enhanced the book.
This volume will be of interest to social
psychologists, sociologists, and others concerned with human social behavior and development in modern Western societies.
About half of the articles were written by
psychologists and reflect a n orientation toward individual ontogeny, cognition, and
motivation couched in language that nonpsychologists may find laborious reading.
Along with Aggression and War, this book
aims to foster international cooperation and
global peace. The editors write that “[tlrying
to know a s much as possible about the bases
of prosocial behavior may contribute to
prosocial education and increase the probability of establishing altruistic norms as societal goals” (p. 132). This objective is laudatory. If the book manages to promote
cooperation and altruism in the world, then
it will have made a worthwhile contribution.
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
New Haven. Connecticut
OF A MILITARYErie (Ontario), Canada, was discovered in
THE WAROF 1812. Edited
1987 during the course of construction activby Susan Pfeiffer and Ronald F. William- ities. Field excavations yielded the remains
son. Toronto: Dundurn. 1991. 443 pp. of 28 primary inhumations, three medical
ISBN 1-55002-090-0. $44.95 (cloth).
waste pits, and a n ox burial, all dating to the
War of 1812 period. This volume successUsing a multidisciplinary approach, this fully presents the analysis and interpretaedited volume brings together American tion of these discoveries within their historiand Canadian specialists in the fields of ar- cal context.
chaeology, physical anthropology, and miliThe book is divided into two sections. The
tary and medical history to piece together first focuses on the historical setting and the
the events that led to the deaths and subse- second on the biological anthropological
quent burial of 28 American soldiers follow- study of the human skeletal remains.
ing the 1814 siege of Fort Erie.
Williamson introduces the Historical SetThe Snake Hill cemetery, located in Fort ting section, and Whitehorne provides the
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cloth, cooperation, university, roberts, isbn, prosocial, new, 1991, cambridge, york, 521, behaviour, groebel, edited, 39110, pres, hinda, 365
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