democracy and religious authorities

the last in my series of “essential features of democracy” according to various peoples around the world from the world values survey, 2005-2008.

“Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: Religious authorities interpret the laws.

percentages of people who reponded 10 — an essential characteristic of democracy is that religious authorities interpret the laws:

so, more a greater percentage of (you know what i mean!) mexicans than iranians think that religious authorities should interpret the laws in a democracy.

*facepalm*

previously: dēmos kratos and democracy and civil rights and democracy and the redistribution of wealth and democracy and military takeover and libyans on democracy: meh and what egyptians want

(note: comments do not require an email. religious authorities interpreting laws. (~_^) )

why i care about the hgdp samples

if the hgdp samples are going to be used to look at the degrees of kinship within populations — which would be awesome! and which prof. harpending started to do recently — then care has to be taken to identify which sets of samples include lots of relatives.

if you’re gonna analyze a bunch of individuals’ genomes to ascertain the degree of kinship between them in order to determine the degree of kinship within their broader population, then you want to make sure you’ve got a random, representative sample from the population and not a bunch of relatives since, of course, a bunch of relatives will naturally have a high degree of kinship.

and if you found a high degree of kinship in a set of samples that included a bunch of relatives and didn’t know you were looking at a set of relatives, you might conclude that there must be a high degree of kinship across the broader population, too, but this might not be the case at all.

for example, take the hgdp samples from the pashtun and the kalash in pakistan. twenty-five genomes are available from each group, but according to rosenberg (see previous post), none of the individuals in the pashtun group were relatives whereas in the kalash group there likely are: one parent-offspring pair, one half-sibling pair (or an equivalent), and four pairs of cousins.

let’s say, then, that it was found that these two sets of samples — the pashtun and the kalash — had exactly the same degree of internal kinship between their members, genetically speaking. that would mean that the members of the broader pashtun population had the same kinship to one another as the several sets of relatives in the kalash population, since the pashtun genomes were random samples whereas the kalash ones were not. it might look like the two groups had the same, population-wide degree of kinship, but in reality that would not be what we had found.

of the 52 population samples in the hgdp (the south african bantus are counted as one group … even though they come from different ethnic groups … hmmmm …), rosenberg found that exactly half (26) include relatives.

the other problem i have with the hgdp samples involves the ones that were collected from immigrant groups here in the u.s.:

– han chinese: “This is a sample of Han Chinese living in the San Francisco, California.”
– japanese: “Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.”
– cambodians: “Collected by K. Dumars from individuals born in Cambodia who are now living in Santa Ana, California.”

are these immigrants really representative of their native populations? are they first- or second- or fourth-generation americans? some immigrant groups start to outbreed in a new land, but others do just the opposite. what’s the case with these groups? how old were the individuals sampled (since in many populations inbreeding rates have gone down in the last 50 years or so)? do they all come from the same region in their native country (like guangdong province), or from all over? to give you an idea of some of the possible problems involved with these sets of samples, have a look at what i said about the japanese samples in the previous post.

and i still have a bug about which regions of france the french samples came from (see previous post). (~_^) it probably doesn’t matter that much, but it would’ve been nice to know how widespread the sampling was, i.e. how random and representative of the entire population of france are these samples? historically, different regions of france have had different inbreeding rates as can be seen in this map of the inbreeding coefficients for france, 1926-1945 [pg. 620] (my guess is this pattern goes back a long way, too — probably to the early medieval period and the introduction of manorialism in continental europe):

so, which regions the samples were drawn from in france might actually make a difference — especially depending upon how deeply one drills down into the question of relatedness. i wonder the same thing about many of the other samples, too, for instance the ones from russia, but we know that all those samples came from the vologda administrative region so we are at least aware that they may not be representive of all ethnic russians.

despite all these potential difficulties, i look forward to more genetic research into kinship and relatedness within populations — from prof. harpending or whomever! very cool stuff! (^_^)

previously: hgdp samples and relatedness and more on the hgdp samples

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wordpress comments

**update 03/22 – new posts below.**
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**gonna make this post a sticky one just to make sure everyone sees it. if you’re having troubles leaving a comment here on the ol’ blog, please email me: hbd.chick ampersat yahoo.com. check below for new posts.**
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so the new wordpress comments system is: if the email address you’re using to leave a comment on a wordpress.com blog (like the hbd chick blog) was ever associated with a wordpress or gravatar account, you will have to log in to wordpress (or gravatar) in order to leave your comment. an email address never associated with wordpress/gravatar should not be a problem.

but remember: you do NOT have to type in an email address to leave a comment here. just leave the email field blank. there was a bug with that feature for the past couple of days, but the good folks at wordpress have assured us that they’ve fixed it. (yay!)

happy sunday! (^_^)

more on the hgdp samples

first, see my previous post on this if you want to follow along.

in that post, i expressed some concerns over the french human genome diversity project (hgdp) samples since the ceph folks describe them as: French (various regions) relatives. i wondered both of the following: 1) how many and which “various regions,” since different regions of france have historically had different rates of inbreeding — haven’t managed to find out which “various regions” — and 2) how many and what sorts of relatives? i did find out that.

via some genetic wizardry, a noah rosenberg tried to work out if any of the individuals in any the hgdp samples were, in fact, relatives [see here]. to cut a long story short, rosenberg found it likely that two individuals in the french sample were siblings [see pg. 7 here – opens pdf], thus the “relatives” indicator on the ceph website. so, the entire french sample is NOT full of family members like i wondered in my last post — only two of the individuals sampled are likely to have been relatives.

i still think it would be useful to know from which regions the samples were drawn, but i guess i just have to live with not knowing for the meantime. (~_^) but now i feel more secure about professor harpending’s conclusion — that regarding the french: “from the viewpoint of kinship, one person is not very different from another person.”

however, now i feel unsure about the japanese samples! the hgdp samples for the japanese are described on ALFRED as:

“Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.”

ack! well, how representative of japanese people in japan are these people? where did they come from? urban areas? rural areas? different areas? mostly the same areas? how old were they?

i ask all these questions because, historically, urban japanese have had lower inbreeding rates than rural japanese … and the inbreeding rates overall for japan dropped pretty sharply after wwii [see pgs. 4-5 here – opens pdf]. so if the samples include mostly young, urban japanese who recently moved to the u.s., well i wouldn’t be surprised if they look quite outbred. but if the samples include mostly older, rural japanese, i would be surprised if they looked outbred.

now i don’t have any confidence in the japanese hgdp samples — not for looking at kinship within the japanese population anyway. btw, rosenberg didn’t find any likely relatives in the japanese samples.
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i went through the ceph table of the hgdp samples and ALFRED and compiled a list of all the hgdp samples and if they 1) likely include any family members (“relatives” – based on rosenberg), and 2) where the samples were collected and from whom, if known. many of the samples don’t have any useful information on their provenance. for example, many of the ALFRED entries say that the samples were drawn from unrelated individuals, but rosenberg found that they, in fact, likely included relatives.

why do i care about any of this? i’ll explain that in another post. right now … coffee! (^_^)

**update: see why i care about the hgdp samples**
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the list:

– Central African Republic – Biaka Pygmy (relatives)
This sample is comprised of Biaka, living in the village of Bagandu, in the southwest corner of the Central African Republic (3.42N; 18E altitude approximately 500m). This group is probably an admixture of 3/4 “non-pygmy” African ancestry and 1/4 Mbuti ancestry. The transformed cell lines were established by Judith R. Kidd. The sources of this sample are L. Cavalli-Sforza (Stanford University) and K.K. Kidd, J.R. Kidd (Yale University).

– Democratic Rep of Congo – Mbuti Pygmy (relatives)
The sample is composed of Nilosaharan and Niger Kordofanian speaking Mbuti pygmies from the northeastern part of the Ituri Forest (northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo). It was collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza in 1986.

– Senegal – Mandenka (relatives)
This sample from the Central African Republic is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Nigeria – Yoruba (relatives)
Most of the Yoruba individuals in this sample are urban health care workers from Benin City, Nigeria, collected by Prof. Friday E. Okonofua and collaborators; cell lines established by Dr. J.R. Kidd.

– Namibia – San (relatives)
This sample from Namibia is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Kenya – Bantu NE (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– S. Africa – Bantu SE Pedi
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Sotho
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Tswana
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Zulu
– S. Africa – Bantu SW Herero
– S. Africa – Bantu SW Ovambo

These samples are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). They include the following individuals: #993, 994, 1028, 1030, 1031, 1033, 1034, and 1035. These samples consist of unrelated Bantu speakers from southern Africa and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Algeria – Mozabite (relatives)
This sample from Algeria is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Israel (Negev) – Bedouin (relatives)
This sample from the Negev region of Israel is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Israel (Carmel) – Druze (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). The Druze, a Moslem community from Northern Israel. Collected by B. Bonne-Tamir (Tel Aviv University) as part of the repository of samples of Israeli populations. This sample contains both related and unrelated individuals.

– Israel (Central) – Palestinian (relatives)
This sample from the central region of Israel is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Pakistan – Brahui
– Pakistan – Balochi (relatives)
– Pakistan – Hazara (relatives)
– Pakistan – Sindhi (relatives)
– Pakistan – Pathan
– Pakistan – Kalash (relatives)
– Pakistan – Burusho

These samples from Pakistan are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). These samples consist of unrelated individuals and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Pakistan – Makrani
*no info found.*

– China – Han
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This is a sample of Han Chinese living in the San Francisco, California. Collected by L. Cavalli-Sforza (Stanford University), K.K. Kidd, and J.R. Kidd.

– China – Tujia
– China – Yizu/Yi
– China – Miaozu/Miao
– China – Oroqen (relatives)
– China – Daur
– China – Mongola
– China – Hezhen
– China – Xibo
– China – Uygur
– China – Dai
– China – She
– China – Lahu (relatives)
– China – Naxi (relatives)
– China – Tu

These samples from China are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). These samples consist of unrelated individuals and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Siberia – Yakut
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Yakut-speaking individuals in the Yakut Autonomous Republic. Individuals sampled were living or were born along the river Lena in the area of Yakutsk and northward, roughly 129-130E, 62-64N. This sample was collected by E.L. Grigorenko.

– Japan – Japanese
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.

– Cambodia – Cambodian (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected by K. Dumars from individuals born in Cambodia who are now living in Santa Ana, California.

– France – French/various regions (relatives)
This sample form various regions of France is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– France – Basque
This sample from France is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Italy – Sardinian
This sample from Italy is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Italy – from Bergamo
– Italy – Tuscany

*no info found.*

– Orkney Islands – Orcadian (relatives)
This sample from the Orkney Islands is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Russia Caucasus – Adygei
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Adygei-speaking people near Krasnodar in the Russian republic of Adygei, which is in the southeastern section of the country (north of the Caucuses mountains). They are culturally and linguistically distinct from neighboring Russians. This sample was collected by E. Grigorenko (Yale University) V. Galkina, and M. Kadoshnikova (Bristol company, Russia).

– Russia – Russian
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Sample collected by E. Grigorenko from rural communities of ethnic Russians living in the Vologda Administrative Region, about 400 km north of Moscow, roughly 59-61N, 39-41E.

– Mexico – Pima (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected from Pima living near the eastern border of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Collected by L.O. Shulz.

– Mexico – Maya (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of Mayans who are Yucatec speakers from in the Xmaben village located in the Mexican state of Campeche in the central Yucatan peninsula. Blood and serum markers indicate European admixture to be about 10 % (K. Weiss, personal communication). Some evidence suggests that the area from which this sample was drawn served as a refuge for Maya people from across southern Mexico who fled to this more remote region during a series of revolts against the Spanish in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are 53 transformed cell lines (106 chromosomes) established by Judith R. Kidd. The sources of this sample are K.K. Kidd and J.R. Kidd (Yale University).

– Colombia – Piapoco and Curripaco (relatives)
*no info found.*

– Brazil – Karitiana (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). The sample was collected in the Karitiana village (Rondonia Province, Brazil) by F. Black. HLA haplotypes indicate that the Karitiana have no non-Amerindian admixture and are genetically distinct from other sampled populations in relative geographical proximity, such as the Surui.

– Brazil – Burui (relatives)
*no info found.*

previously: hgdp samples and relatedness

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hgdp samples and relatedness

**update 03/22: see follow up post — more on the hgdp samples — and just ignore what i said about the french samples below.**

**update 08/28: ignore what i said about ignoring what i said about the french samples. see here.**
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i had a post up back in january about some cool research that looked at what runs of homozygosity (roh) in samples from the human genome diversity project (hgdp) can tell us about the inbreeding or outbreeding of different human populations.

but i’ve been bothered by the thought of how the hgdp samples were gathered. as professor harpending said:

“No one knows, by the way, how sampling was carried out for this nor for any of the HGDP populations.”

ugh. the hgdp is really, really cool — but not having info on where the samples came from — like genealogical info — poses a problem if you want to use this data to look at recent inbreeding/outbreeding or, i think, even the sort of thought experiment that prof. harpening conducted a couple of weeks ago, however cool that was, too.

here’s an example of what i mean.

prof. harpending compared the relatedness or kinship of the individuals in a couple of sets of samples from the hgdp: the french, the japanese, and the druze. he found that the kinship of indviduals in both the french and japanese populations to their nearest “relatives” (i presume two individuals who had the most similar genomes?) is very similar. as he said: “from the viewpoint of kinship, one person is not very different from another person.” the druze, otoh, are very dissimilar and the good professor thinks that this is a population in which “opportunities for discord and clannishness are high as individuals able to discriminate kin would ally against the ‘others.'”

i’m not going to argue with that! the druze, like the arabs, regularly practice father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage, the most incestuous form of cousin marriage around, so i’m not surprised that their genomes reflect this fact. (fbd marriage probably originated in the levant, so it could be that the people who are today known as the druze are the product of one of the longest running close-inbreeding projects in humans around.) amongst the druze, each extended-family or clan must’ve become, over time, it’s own little semi-isolated sub-group. like the arabs, i’d expect a lot of clannishness and infighting.

however, wrt to the french and japanese samples: the ceph folks do have some information on the hgdp samples, and one point of difference between the french and japanese samples is that the french samples are described as having been drawn from relatives whereas the japanese samples were not.

there are 29 french samples described as: French (various regions) relatives, and there are 31 japanese samples described as just Japanese, so i assume that means the japanese samples do not include relatives.

so what does French (various regions) relatives mean? i guess that the samples were drawn from different regions of france, but we don’t know which regions or how many. (which is too bad because different regions of france have, historically, had different inbreeding rates.) and how many relatives? who knows? i’m going to presume all 29 are not relatives from one family living scattered across the country, although i suppose that could’ve been the case. what seems more likely to me is that we’re looking at groups of samples from a number of different families, but how many? two, three, four … ten? again, who knows?

what difference would this make? well if the kinship in the french set of samples and the japanese set of samples look to be around the same, i.e. “one person is not very different from another,” BUT the french samples are from relatives and the japanese samples are not, then that would mean that the individuals in the broader french population must be even more like one another than the individuals in the broader japanese population since french family members have the same kinship to one another as japanese strangers do.

to put it more simply, comparing the french and japanese samples is like comparing apples and oranges because, if the ceph information is correct, the french samples include family members whereas the japanese ones do not.

the druze samples, too, are described as coming from relatives — again no info as to how many families/relatives — so the broader druze population should prove to be even more dissimilar to one another than these family members are.

i would love to see lots more studies done on inbreeding/outbreeding (and possible inclusive fitness-related behaviors) in human populations from a genetics p.o.v. — like what prof. harpending did in his recent post. but afaics, using the hgdp data is problematic. i look forward to when there are more whole genome sequences available out there WITH accompanying genealogical/pedigree information.

previously: runs of homozygosity and inbreeding (and outbreeding)

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east anglia, kent and manorialism

here are a few excerpts related to east anglia and kent in the medieval period from from Sentiments & Activities: Essays in Social Science by george c. homans.

homans has a few interesting things to say about the east anglians and kentish people of the middle ages:

– that they had little to no manners manors in these regions versus central england which did
– that extended-families ruled the day in these areas versus nuclear families
– and he concludes that the germanic peoples that settled east anglia during the migration period had probably been frisians

east anglia is interesting because that’s where the puritan settlers in new england came from. here’s a little map from Albion’s Seed on the origins of new england’s placenames — i.e. they came mostly from east anglia:

anyway, here from homans [pgs. 147-49, 154, 162, 169]:

“[The] two main types of English social organization in the Middle Ages and their historical consequences, the two being the social organization of East Anglia and Kent, on the one side, and, on the other, that of central or open-field England….

“Central England is marked by large, compact villages, whose fields are managed according to customary rules binding on all villagers — one or another variety of the so-called open-field system or champion husbandry. In these fields, a villager’s holding lies in strips scattered all over the fields, with approximately equal acreage in each one. The holdings tend to be equal, class by class: there may be yardlands and half-yardlands, but each yardland is normally equal to every other one. A holding in villeinage or socage is commonly held by one man and descends to one of his sons. And many of the holdings are villein holdings, subject to heavy labor-services for the lord of the manor.

“Arrangements in Kent and much of East Anglia differ at almost every point from those just described…. Kent is marked by settlements smaller than the open-field villages, settlements I shall call hamlets. The holding does not originally consist of scattered strips. The earlier the date, the more often it appears instead as a compact body of land, the hamlet apparently lying close to the land. The holding is managed as an independent farming unit, not subject to many communal rules, though often following in fact a traditional rotation of crops. The holdings may once have been equal in size, but by the end of the thirteenth century such equality has degenerated, and irregularity is the rule rather than the exception.

“A husbandman’s holding tends to be in the hands of a group of men often called participes, sometimes called heredes, and it is often clear that these men are patrilineal kinsmen. The custom of inheritance in Kent is called gavelkind, and recognized by the lawyers as being different from most of the rest of England. Land descends to a number of heirs jointly…. It looks as if we had to do with joint-family communities like those Le Play described as still existing in the Auvergne in the nineteenth century: groups of men claiming descent from a common patrilineal ancestor, living in one house or a small group of houses, and managing in common a compact body of land, under the leadership of the oldest of ablest male of each successive senior generation….

“Again unlike open-field England, Kent by the end of the thirteenth century holds few villeins. Week-work for the lord of the manor is the badge of villeinage, and week-work is uncommon in Kent.

“The customs of East Anglia, including the villages on the southern shore of the Wash, are mixed, but in many places identical with those of Kent. The fact of gavelkins inheritance is certainly common, though not the name. Holdings seem at one time to have been fairly compact, but they have become much broken up by partible inheritance. The proportion of free socage to villein tenures is higher than in central England, though lower than in Kent. East Anglia differs from Kent chiefly in the fact that settlement seems to be in big villages rather than hamlets, but even here the two districts are alike in lacking strict two- or three-field systems of husbandry.

We have on the one hand a strong village community linked with what Le Play called in ‘Les ouvriers europeens’ a stem-family, and on the other hand a weak or nonexistent village community linked with a joint-family. Big village, small family or small village, big family — the contrast is oversimple but not fantastically so….

“[A] higher proportion of tenants in free socage to tenants in villeinage [is] obtained in Kent and East Anglia than in central England…. This was true at the time of Domesday, and by the end of the thirteenth century very little villeinage remained in Kent…. Nor was the phenomenon limited to England. One of the greatest of social historians, Marc Bloch, claimed that the full-blown seigneurie appeared in France ‘north of the Loire and on the Burgundian plain,’ that is, in the open-field part of the country. He argued that the feudal system itself developed its classic form only under these conditions….

In East Anglia as in Kent, the heirs often continued to hold and work it [the land] in common and undivided, forming what anthropologists call a joint-family or minimal lineage. Thus we hear of groups of brothers, of uncles and nephews, and of first cousins holding land jointly....

“Besides holding land in common, did a group of heirs ever keep on living together in one big family house, forming a house-community like those described in the sagas? All we have here are some curious East Anglian references to named ‘houses’ (domus), references that seem unlike any found in the records of other parts of England….

The final characteristic of East Anglia that sets it off at least from Wessex and Mercia is its weak, or perhaps late, manorialization…. Specifically, weak manorialism meant a large number of free tenants. ‘The free peasantry of East Anglia — that is to say of the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk alone — formed approximately one half of the total number of freeman and sokemen recorded for the whole of Domesday England….'”

homans makes a long and fairly convincing argument (that i won’t go into here) that frisians settled in east anglia during the migration period and not so much angles. he draws a lot of parallels between medieval east anglian society and frisian society, so he may be right. but the interesting thing is, like east anglia, frisia never experienced manorialism either, so perhaps the similarities of the two regions are related to that (along with general common ethnic origins).

it’s interesting, too, to hear that as recently as the 1300s, east anglia and kent had community families whereas, according to emmanuel todd, they had absolute nuclear families by the modern period (1500s-1800s). the change to nuclear families (perhaps stem families as opposed to absolute nuclear families) probably came much earlier in the manor-regions of england since the manor system generally required nuclear families.

previously: family types and the evolution of behavioral traits

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linkfest – 03/18/12

Investing Practices Significantly Heritable – from dennis mangan.

Fifty-seven Years of Darkness – @the loom.

Recent generations focus more on fame, money than giving back“Young adults less interested in community issues, politics and environment, finds new research”

Why do wealthy white conservative women have more children?“Because they are more religious and less educated than liberal women.” – from the inductivist.

Why are redheads less common than blondes? – from peter frost.

Epigenetics and epidemiology — hip, hype and science“Given the huge range of epigenetic variation and the relatively small effect size of environmental influences on the epigenome, investigation at the level of the individual may produce little but random noise. However … studied at the population level, epigenetics has much to offer to the understanding of disease aetiology and epidemiology has much to offer the field of epigenetics.”

Evan Charney’s Critique of Genopolitics and the Genetic Paradigm“Human genetics constrains but does not determine human cultures and human judgments.” – from larry arnhart.

bonus: Write Your Own Academic Sentence – e.g.: The construction of history as such functions as the conceptual frame for the culture of power/knowledge. – heh. (^_^)

bonus bonus: Women and Children First – wow. how can you have NO memory of childhood?

(note: comments do not require an email. “How to Deconstruct Almost Anything.”)