This volume is the product of a collaborative project based at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Researchers primarily involved in three fields -- primate sociology and ecology, ecological anthropology and socio-cultural anthropology -- came together to discuss the shape and variations of groups as sympatric entities and the evolutionary historical foundations that have led to the orientation of groups in present-day human society. To that end, the chapters in this volume turn to non-human primates for comparative purposes to consider the nature of the evolutionary historical foundations of sociality.
In place of the past objective of reconstructing the ecology and society of early humans, the works in this book instead aim to re-identify the creation and evolution of that which is social and challenge the prevailing theory of groups in socio-cultural anthropology. Specialists on research into human beings and those studying non-human primates develop the debate about groups in the context of their own areas of expertise, at times in ways that extend beyond the boundaries of their fields.