Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social Brain, Distributed Mind$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, and John Gowlett

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264522

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264522.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Constraints on Social Networks

Constraints on Social Networks

(p.114) (p.115) 6 Constraints on Social Networks
Social Brain, Distributed Mind

Sam G. B. Roberts

British Academy

In both modern humans and non-human primates, time and cognitive constraints place an upper bound on the number of social relationships an individual can maintain at a given level of intensity. Similar constraints are likely to have operated throughout hominin evolution, shaping the size and structure of social networks. One of the key trends in human evolution, alongside an increase in brain size, is likely to have been an increase in group size, resulting in a larger number of social relationships that would have to be maintained over time. The network approach demonstrates that relationships should not be viewed as dyadic ties between two individuals, but as embedded within a larger network of ties between network members. Together with relationships based on kinship, this may have allowed for larger groups to be maintained among hominins than would be possible if such networks were based purely on dyadic ties between individuals.

Keywords:   time constraints, cognitive constraints, social relationships, dyadic ties, kinship, hominins

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.