Inequality : A Genetic HistoryHow genomics reveals deep histories of inequality, going back many thousands of years. Inequality is an urgent global concern, with pundits, politicians, academics, and best-selling books all taking up its causes and consequences. In Inequality, Carles Lalueza-Fox offers an entirely new perspective on the subject, examining the genetic marks left by inequality on humans throughout history. Lalueza-Fox describes genetic studies, made possible by novel DNA sequencing technologies, that reveal layers of inequality in past societies, manifested in patterns of migration, social structures, and funerary practices. Through their DNA, ancient skeletons have much to tell us, yielding anonymous stories of inequality, bias, and suffering. Lalueza-Fox, a leader in paleogenomics, offers the deep history of inequality. He explores the ancestral shifts associated with migration and describes the gender bias unearthed in these migrations—the brutal sexual asymmetries, for example, between male European explorers and the women of Latin America that are revealed by DNA analysis. He considers social structures, and the evidence that high social standing was inherited—the ancient world was not a meritocracy. He untangles social and genetic factors to consider whether wealth is an advantage in reproduction, showing why we are more likely to be descended from a king than a peasant. And he explores the effects of ancient inequality on the human gene pool. Marshaling a range of evidence, Lalueza-Fox shows that understanding past inequalities is key to understanding present ones.
by BU Libraries
Last Updated Nov 21, 2023
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About The Evolution of Human Life History
This guide provides selected course-specific resources for AN330 / AN730: The Evolution of Human Life History.
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Systemic Racism Can Get Under Our Skin and into Our Genes (AJPA April 2021, Wiley)Many sociocultural factors, like poverty and trauma, or homelessness versus a safe neighborhood, can get “under our skin” and affect our lives. These factors may also get “into our genes” through epigenetic changes that influence how genes are expressed. Changes in gene expression can further influence how we respond to sociocultural factors and how those factors impact our physical and mental health, creating a feedback loop between our sociocultural environment and our genome.
This guide was originally authored by Chris Smith, April, 2023.