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Mortal RitualsWhat the Story of the Andes Survivors Tells Us About Human Evolution$
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Matt Rossano

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165006

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

This Cold and Capricious Place

This Cold and Capricious Place

(p.59) Chapter Three This Cold and Capricious Place
Mortal Rituals

Matt J. Rossano

Columbia University Press

This chapter compares an egalitarian social system with a complex social system. Specifically, it explains the facets of a complex social system, and justifies why the social system that the UAF Flight 571 survivors constructed was complex. The egalitarian social system is a system that favors equality for all people, whereas the complex social system is a hierarchal system composed of social agents with varying functions and behaviors. It arises where an abundance of resources allows for surpluses. In turn, these surpluses must be processed, preserved, and stored. The social system formed by the survivors can be considered complex. Some members of the society own or control the resources, while others prepare and process them. So it was with the survivors' situation. After they made the decision to use their dead friends as food, an abundant resource became available, prompting them to develop specific tasks concerning the distribution of the food.

Keywords:   egalitarian social system, complex social system, crash survivors, UAF Flight 571, hierarchal system, cannibalism

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