Accepted Paper:

Blurring the biological and social in human becomings  
Agustin Fuentes (University of Notre Dame)

Paper short abstract:

Blurring the biological and social in human becomings

Paper long abstract:

Generally, evolutionary approaches to understanding humanity focus on the fossil record, on biological influences on human behavior, or on human biological development. Equally, many social anthropologists focus on stories and experiences of being human and the trajectories and contexts of our lives as social symbolic creatures. Recently, there has been an increasing integration in perspectives that destabilize such boundaries and that focus, emphatically, on the myriad processes of becoming human, rather than on the state of being human. Bypassing the conceptualization of biological and social becomings as distinct and envisioning them as intertwined and integrated actors in processes of becoming human presents a powerful approach for anthropology. Here I will lay out how integrating innovative perspectives in evolutionary theory and biological and social anthropologies provides us with more effective toolkits with which to examine patterns and processes of becoming human.

Panel IW007
Beyond the biological and the social: anthropology as the study of human becomings