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Edward O. Wilson's "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis": What it Means for Sociology

Description: The implications of sociobiology as presented in Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis are examined to determine to what extent 1) sociobiology can subsume sociology; 2) sociobiology is antithetical to sociology; 3) sociobiology reflects a movement within sociology. Basic assumptions of sociobiology pertinent to sociology--degree of determinism, existence of human universals, and definitions of society, culture, and human nature--are scrutinized alongside Wilson's view of sociology as a scientific discipline. The thesis explores weaknesses of both sociology and sociobiology and concludes that sociobiology, in ignoring culture as a source of behavioral motivation, is limited in reducing the sociological perspective to a biological one. Although the two disciplines have antithetical foundations, sociology has already begun to incorporate selected aspects of the sociobiological perspective.
Date: May 1978
Creator: Rowe, M. Edward (Montie Edward)
Partner: UNT Libraries