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Morgan, S. Philip (2011). Comments on Consilience Efforts.. Booth, Alan; McHale, Susan M.; & Landale, Nancy S. (Eds.) (pp. 171-177). New York: Springer.


In questioning the usefulness of Gangestad’s concept of evoked culture as an explanation for major shifts in family and fertility behavior, I offer an alternative way to conceptualize the role of biological predispositions and potential that focuses on the human brain. Brain evolution, brain development, and brain functioning are the keys to understanding broad sweeps of family change and variation. More specifically, I develop a very broad conception of schema that locates them both “in the mind” and “in the world”; that is, schema can be codified in the brain’s neural circuits, and they can also be widely shared by a community of interacting individuals. At the macro-level schemas also can be embodied in materials – tangible aspects of our culture. The schemas “in the mind” and “in the world” produce Sewell’s (1992, 2005) “duality of structure” that can account for continuity as well as the dramatic, pervasive, and rapid change that are observed in aspects of family/fertility behavior.


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National Symposium on Family Issues


Morgan, S. Philip