Stagnation in Anthropology?

As the question of “competition vs cooperation” continues to plague literature, research, and general society, anthropologists Molina, Lubbers, Garcia and Mestres of GRAFO at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at UAB have tried to synthesize the debate through a socio-cultural lens.
Highlighting the contributions of every genre, and specifically social anthropology to the discourse, the author introduces the paper with a general understanding of the phenomena in order to provide context for the audience. Although we can assume they’re already aware of some of what they are saying, the authors also take the opportunity to outline the underlying concepts of the work. They cite direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity and network reciprocity as well as group selection as the basis of consideration. Doing this at the very beginning provides for a more easily understood remainder of the paper as the audience can already anticipate the justifications for the argument.
Compared to Bateson’s work on cooperation, we notice the writing is much more detailed and well referenced. This is done because this work is peer reviewed and must be founded upon prior research to be able to contribute to the higher discourse community. Bateson makes her speech easier to understand so that her audience can keep up as she presents.
While Bateson’s structure is freer flowing to accommodate a rising argument during a speech, Molina and Co use 3 “case study” subjects to explain their argument. Through multiple anecdotal examples across multiple genres Bateson makes her point clear through her conclusion. This maintains the focus of the audience through the speech. Molina uses case study’s to explain because they can apply their measures to it, making it the most practical application of their argument.
Evidently, both anthropologists have led themselves to the same conclusion, cooperation and competition go hand in hand. While Bateson spent her time convincing her audience that the only was to move forward was for these two to coexist, Molin and Co proved that they exist in many different societies across the globe and that they have for a very long-time. Although these two authors did argue that the forwards movements of society are propelled by cooperation and building on each others work, we hardly see that the arguments have shifted over time. During the year long gap between these works, what other aspects of the theme were explored? By who? Where and in what context? Where else does social anthropology lead us in terms of coexisting with competition and cooperation?

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