The Weirdest People in the World
Are you WEIRD? if you are reading this then it is very likely that you are. Being Weird (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic), it turns out, is also, well, weird.
Henrich was trained as an anthropologist but now describes himself as a “cultural evolutionist”. It is with this anthropological eye, Henrich is able to demonstrate that the “weird” values we may perceive as universal or natural are actually culturally determined and really very specific - in time and space.
Unlike most who have ever lived, now or before, WEIRD people are highly individualistic, nonconformist, analytical and control-oriented. In this book, Henrich looks into how WEIRD populations have become so psychologically peculiar. What part did these differences play in our history, and what do they mean for our collective identity?
He draws on cutting-edge research in anthropology, psychology, economics, and evolutionary biology to explore these questions and many more. He highlights the origins and evolution of family structures, marriage, and religion, and shows the profound impact these cultural transformations had on human psychology. Mapping these shifts through ancient history and late antiquity, Henrich reveals that the most fundamental institutions of kinship and marriage changed dramatically under pressure from the Roman Catholic Church. It was these changes that gave rise to the WEIRD psychology that would coevolve with impersonal markets, occupational specialization, and free competition—laying the foundation for the modern world.
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Paperback, 20 x 13 x 2.5 cm approx, 680 pages.