Sonja Pejić: Socioanthropological Synthesis of Ethological Studies on Rituals in Non-Human Species. Towards the Development of an Integrated Approach


This paper analyzes the biosocial origins of ritual by pointing to its significant social and evolutionary functions. Furthermore, it offers a detailed analysis of ethological studies on rituals in non-human species that are considered groundwork for an integrated analysis of rituals in people. Due to the fact that sociological and anthropological studies of rituals were aimed at studying social functions of rituals and rituals as a form of social interaction and neglected the existence of biogenetic models as the basis of ritual behavior, the aim of this paper was to indicate that ritual is not only a product of cultural development but that it has played an adaptive role in the processes of biological and cultural evolution.

[ritual, ritualization, ethology, adaptation, evolution, human behavior]