clannishness defined

’bout time, right? right.

the first thing — one of the most important things — to remember is that clannishness does NOT just apply to peoples who live in clans (or, like the arabs, lineage-based tribes). a population that is clannish, or exhibits traits of clannishness, does NOT have to be one arranged along clans/tribes. all — or maybe most (dunno) — societies that are arranged along clan/tribal lines are normally clannish — at least i think so — i can’t think of any that are not. but clannishness extends beyond that — some societies are clannish even though their members don’t spend their everyday lives surrounded by their fellow clan members.

so what is clannishness then? clannishness is (and i reserve the right to alter this definition) a set of behaviors and innate behavioral traits and predispositions which, when found in a population, result in the members of that population strongly favoring, in all areas of life, themselves, their family members — both near and extended, and even closely allied associates (esp. in clannish societies which are not arranged into clans), while at the same time strongly disfavoring those considered to be non-family and all unrelated, non-allied associates. (i know — it’s messy — it needs work. i agree. feel free to leave suggestions in the comments! thnx.)

the most important thing to remember here is: take the clannish individuals out of their native clannish environment — for instance, away from their extended families or clans — and they will still, on average, behave in clannish ways. why? because (i think) that what we’re looking at are innate traits — innate traits that are found to different degrees, on average, in different populations. and why should that be? evolution by natural selection, that’s why. to quote myself:

think of it like a two-stage rocket:

– FIRST you have either inbreeding or outbreeding (or any range in between those), and these mating patterns either focus or disperse “genes for altruism” … within extended family groups, which….

– THEN sets the stage for creating different selection pressures in that different social environments are created (egs. nuclear families, extended families, clans, larger tribes). it’s HERE in this second stage where the behaviors — either clannish or not (or any range in between those!) — are selected for (or can be selected for).

“either clannish or not (or any range in between those!).” in other words, clannishness should be viewed as a spectrum. to quote myself again:

clannishness should be viewed as a spectrum.

the pattern seems to be that, the longer and greater the inbreeding, the more clannish — and the opposite — the longer and greater the outbreeding, the less clannish.

if we take 1 as the least clannish and 10 as the most clannish, i would rate various groups as follows (these are today’s judgements — i reserve the right to alter these as i go forward and learn more about all of these populations!):

1 – the english (not all of them — probably not the cornish, for instance), some of the dutch
2 – the scandinavians
3 or 4 – the irish
6-7 – the italians, the greeks, the chinese
7-8 – the albanians
10 – the yanomamo
11 – the arabs

(see also jayman’s A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”)

since we’re talking (i think) about evolution and the selection for behaviors here, it should be obvious that populations can go from being more or less clannish — and also that populations can, and do, head down slightly different evolutionary pathways depending on their own, unique circumstances, and so probably all will be clannish (or non-clannish) in their own ways. there will be broad similarities, of course — but maybe mostly the patterns will be generally the same, just not very specifically.
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so what are these clannish behaviors/traits?

well, i’m not the only one who’s interested in clannishness and the effects that has on the functioning (or not) of societies. here is mark weiner on “clannism” [kindle locations 128-138]:

“[B]y the rule of the clan I mean the political arrangements of societies governed by what the ‘Arab Human Development Report 2004’ calls ‘clannism.’ These societies possess the outward trappings of a modern state but are founded on informal patronage networks, especially those of kinship, and traditional ideals of patriarchal family authority. In nations pervaded by clannism, government is coopted for purely factional purposes and the state, conceived on the model of the patriarchal family, treats citizens not as autonomous actors but rather as troublesome dependents to be managed.

“Clannism is the historical echo of tribalism, existing even in the face of economic modernization. It often characterizes rentier societies struggling under the continuing legacy of colonial subordination, as in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, where the nuclear family, with its revolutionary, individuating power, has yet to replace the extended lineage group as the principle framework for kinship or household organization. A form of clannism likewise pervades mainland China and other nations whose political development was influenced by Confucianism, with its ideal of a powerful state resting on a well-ordered family, and where personal connections are essential to economic exchange.”

that’s a good start, but here’s a more general list of non-clannish–clannish traits/behaviors (again, these should be viewed as spectrums … spectra?):

individualism/collectivism vs. familism/non-collectivism
universalism vs. particularism
civic-minded/commonweal oriented vs. not civic-minded/not commonweal oriented
liberal democracy vs. consensus democracy (or no democracy at all)
– low corruption vs. high corruption
low-violence vs. high-violence(?)
– no feuding vs. feuding

put all of these selected for behaviors together (plus, i’m sure, others that i haven’t thought of) in different average degrees in different populations, and you get different degrees of clannishness — or very little at all — in different populations.

previously: where do clans come from? and mating patterns, family types, social structures, and selection pressures and inbreeding and outbreeding and theories

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what’s this all about?

forgive me, but i’m going to start posting (heavily) about the history of various european populations’ mating patterns, family types, and social structures all over again. i started down this road in 2011, and honestly thought i’d be done with it by now, but things always take longer than you think they will (there’s a rule for that, isn’t there?). (^_^) sorry. also, i’ve come across a bunch more info/data for several european societies, and i’m working on finding out more about the ones i know nothing about (yeah, still mainly eastern europe), so i thought i’d share.

i’m going to begin again with the irish — mostly because a lot of what was going on in pre-christian/early medieval ireland also happened in scotland (especially the highlands and the islands), and i want to set the stage for “explaining” the scots (insofar as ANYbody could possibly do that! (~_^) ) — but the irish are interesting, too, of course, especially since there are so many in the u.s., england, australia, etc. i’ll squeeze the scots-irish in here, too, since they’re so important to how american society turned out.

then i’ll swing down through england — probably won’t post too much about the english just now ’cause i’ve already covered them pretty heavily (see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column) — and head straight for the netherlands — and then on to switzerland (which is going to be very interesting!).

then … well, i dunno. haven’t thought that far ahead yet (i’m from one of those populations that doesn’t do forward planning very well (~_^) ). i feel that i still need to cover further: france, germany, the iberian peninsula, italy(!), scandinavia … and that’s just western europe. i promise, though — i WILL get off of europe asap!

why am i doing this? what’s this all about?

well, for those of you just joining us (welcome!) — there seems to be a connection between mating patterns and various societal structures like family types AND certain sets of behavioral patterns such as “clannishness” or “clannism.” the fundamental correlation seems to be that, the closer the mating patterns (e.g. the members of your society consistently marry their first cousins over an extended period of time), the more clannish your society is going to be. and vice versa. why this is, i’m not entirely sure, but it likely has something to do with the selection over time for different types of behavioral patterns (clannish vs. not, for example) due to the presence of differing societal structures, namely family types, the presence or absence of extended families or clans, etc.

certain groups in northwest europe — the english, some of the dutch, some northern french, the belgians, the germans (especially in the northern half of germany), some northern italians (not the ones in the alps), and a bit later the swiss and the scandinavians — for some screwy historical reasons all quit marrying closely in the early medieval period (some earlier than others, like the english) and because of that (i think) they became less clannish. they became so less clannish that they, in fact, became quite individualistic, which — trust me — is unusual for humans. in doing so, they set themselves up for some interesting selection pressures to act on them — see gregory clark’s A Farewell to Alms, for example.

some of the english and some of the dutch especially became very individualistic. in doing so, they also paradoxically became very universalistic in their belief systems and collectivistic in their societies. they did strange things like invent liberal democracy and the industrial revolution and modernity. they put aside clannish behaviors like nepotism and corruption — even violent behavior (esp. the fly-off-the-handle stab-the-guy-sitting-next-to-you kind).

and all because some berber-latin guy once suggested that maybe people shouldn’t oughta marry their relatives. funny how things happen sometimes!

so, that’s the plan and the reasons behind it! hold on while we take an historical tour of western european societies — it’s tuesday, it must be ireland! (~_^)

most importantly, always remember: there’s more to hbd than just iq!

(note: comments do not require an email. the observation automobile!)

individualism-collectivism

in Individualism-Collectivism and Social Capital (2004) [pdf], allik & realo — after looking at some, you know, actual data — come to the same conclusion that i have been babbling on about here on the blog (if you can read between the lines/read my mind, that is), and that is that paradoxically it appears that, in societies in which the members are MORE individualistic, those same members are oriented MORE towards the group, the whole group, and nothing but the group (i.e. NOT their extended families or clans or tribes) than in societies in which the members are NOT so individualistic.

this seems paradoxical, because you would think that the more individualistic a bunch of individuals were, the more selfish and self-oriented they’d become; but what in fact seems to have happened out there in The Big World is that those individualistic individuals are more concerned about the commonweal than non-individualistic peoples are — the individualistic individuals are, in fact, more civic minded, more democratically minded, and NOT very family minded (in the sense of the extended family, that is).

oddly, the whole world is not like this, only some peoples are. as riley jones said on twitter the other day, it’s almost like people evolved…to be different!

from allik & realo [pg. 32]:

“[I]ndividualism does not necessarily jeopardize organic unity and social solidarity. On the contrary, the growth of individuality, autonomy, and self-sufficiency may be perceived as necessary conditions for the development of interpersonal cooperation, mutual dependence, and social solidarity…. Psychologists have also noticed that the consequences of individualism are not always detrimental. For instance, it has been noticed that individualism (as it is conceptualized in psychology) is also associated with higher self-esteem and optimism (Kitayama, Markus, Matsumoto,&Norasakkunkit, 1997); individualistic cultures are higher on subjective wellbeing (Diener & Diener, 1995; Diener, Diener, & Diener, 1995; Diener & Suh, 1999; Suh, Diener, Oishi,&Triandis, 1998), and they report higher levels of quality-of-life (Veenhoven, 1999). People in individualistic cultures tend to have more acquaintances and friends (Triandis, 2000); they are more extraverted and open to newexperience (McCrae, 2001); and they are more trusting and tolerant toward people of different races (Hofstede, 2001)….

“According to Hofstede’s (1991) definition, ‘individualism pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and his or her immediate family.’ Collectivism, on the other hand, ‘pertains to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty’ (p. 51). Linking to theories of modernization, Hofstede (1991) claimed that industrialized, wealthy, and urbanized societies tend to become increasingly individualistic, whereas traditional, poorer, and rural societies tend to remain collectivistic….”

now’s the point where, if you haven’t read them before, have a look at these two previous posts of mine: mating patterns and the individual and where do clans come from?

back? ok!

here are the results from allik & realo. they took at look at the degrees of individualism both in different countries and in different u.s. states to see if there was any correlation between individualism and collectivism (measured by looking at social capital or interpersonal trust) in those places (see their paper for their methodology and where they got the data from — putnam was one of their sources). first, the countries (click on charts for LARGER views!):

allik and realo - nations

you’ll recognize all the usual, long-term outbreeding suspects** in the upper right-hand corner (most individualistic and most trusting): great britain, the anglo nations, and the netherlands in the lead; the scandinavians (a bit less individualistic than the brits/dutch) following; then the swiss, germans/other germanic populations, and the french and italians; then the eastern europeans; trailing way behind are groups like the turks, brazilians, and nigerians. the one big outlier is the chinese, and the authors, as well as other researchers to whom they refer, all admit that they have no idea why the chinese show up as so trusting — in other surveys, too, apparently. i can’t explain it, either — but, then, there are always exceptions that prove the rule. (~_^) (maybe.)

next, the u.s. states. it’s south dakota all over again!:

allik and realo - u.s. states

hackett fischer couldn’t have drawn a tidier chart of his four folkways! there are the yankees (and scandinavians) in the upper left-hand corner — the most individualistic with the most “social capital” a la putnam [pdf]. in other words, the longest outbreeders again. in the lower right-hand corner are the backcountry southerners who stem from populations that inbred for longer (i.e. the scots-irish and border reivers**). they all have the lowest amounts of individualism and social capital (although, paradoxically again, they probably feel like strong individualists, but that’s just antipathy towards government, i.e. outsiders having any control over their lives — i know the feeling! (~_^) ). and states with a mix of outbreeders and inbreeders — like new york and illinois — fall in between.

more from allik & realo [pgs. 44-45]:

“Where Does Social Capital Come From?

“A mere correlation (no matter how high it is) between measures of social capital and individualism tells us nothing of course about their causal linkage. What we can conclude is that individualistic values appear to be conducive to social capital and social capital appears to be conducive to individualism (see also Inkeles, 2000)…. As noted in our introduction, individualism can be seen as a consequence of modernization. Modern, rational societies are built on the self interest of individual actors whose independence and inalienable individual rights form the core of their political and economical life. Many social scientists have predicted that one inevitable consequence of modernization is the unlimited growth of individualism, which poses serious threats to the organic unity of individuals and society by paving a road to social atomization, unbounded egoism, and distrust (Etzioni, 1993, 1996; Lane, 1994). Existing data, however, provide no support for such pessimistic prognoses. On the contrary, we saw that individualism appears to be rather firmly associated with an increase of social capital, both within and across cultures. Paradoxically, in societies where individuals are more autonomous and seemingly liberated from social bonds, the same individuals are also more inclined to form voluntary associations and to trust each other and to have a certain kind of public spirit…. Thus, the autonomy and independence of the individual may be perceived as the prerequisites for establishing voluntary associations, trusting relationships, and mutual cooperation with one another.”

i think that the social scientists have it exactly backwards: individualism is not a consequence of modernization, but rather modernization is a consequence of individualism. and this individualism first got going in the early medieval period (although its roots may go even further back — see here and here) in the northwest corner of europe (barring ireland and the highlands of scotland) with the outbreeding program put into place by the catholic church and tptb.**

the english were some of the earliest individualists (see here and here and here), and they pretty much invented the industrial revolution and neat things like liberal democracy. oh, and they were also the first in europe to cease being so crazy violent in the medieval period.

peoples are individualistic because they have certain innate traits that were selected for via evolution, and one way (i think) to set up the conditions for those traits to be selected for is to avoid close mating, i.e. get rid of clannishness. over the long-term — we’re talking evolutionary processes here, not overnight quick fixes. the process started in northern europe in the early medieval period (or perhaps even a bit earlier), and after a thousand years or so, these societies were filled with individualistic individuals having a strong orientation towards the wider group, i.e. societies with a lot of trust and a lot of social capital. that’s the recipe for individualism-collectivism.
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**for more on the historic mating patterns of various european (and other) populations, see the “mating patterns in…” series below (↓) in the left-hand column.

previously: me and max and mating patterns and the individual and where do clans come from? and corporations and collectivities and liberal democracy vs. consensus building and mating patterns, family types, social structures, and selection pressures

(note: comments do not require an email. individualist.)