In the spring I’ll be teaching a class on “Anthropology and Contemporary Problems” in which we’ll cover some hot-button issues in our current culture and what anthropology and its adjacent disciplines can tell us about them. One of the topics we’ll spend a week or so on is evolutionary genetics. While the anthropological knee-jerk reaction against all forms of biological determinism has left us with a long and rich and other emotionally overheated literature, I must say that I’ve been particularly impressed by how much work has focused on just evolutionary psychology. So we have not just the articles in “Anthropologists Talk Balk: Why America’s Top Pundits Are Wrong”:http://www.amazon.com/Why-America-Pundits-Wrong-Anthropologists/dp/0520243560/sr=8-1/qid=1158167294/ref=sr_1_1/002-0329361-8750447?ie=UTF8&s=books but whole volumes devoted to the subject, including “Alas, Poor Darwin”:http://www.amazon.com/Alas-Poor-Darwin-Evolutionary-Psychology/dp/0609605135/sr=8-1/qid=1158167194/ref=sr_1_1/002-0329361-8750447?ie=UTF8&s=books and also “Complexities: Beyond The Nature Nurture Divide”:http://www.amazon.com/Complexities-Nature-Nurture-Susan-McKinnon/dp/0226500241/sr=8-6/qid=1158167205/ref=sr_1_6/002-0329361-8750447?ie=UTF8&s=books.
If you are looking for something short and sweet, however, I’d reccomend Susan McKinnon’s “Neo-Liberal Genetics”:http://www.amazon.com/Neo-liberal-Genetics-Tales-Evolutionary-Psychology/dp/0976147521/sr=8-1/qid=1158166684/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0329361-8750447?ie=UTF8&s=books, one of “Prickly Paradigm’s”:http://www.prickly-paradigm.com/history.html newest pamphlets. It’s a compact criticism of evolutionary psychology’s approach written with clarity and vigor, but not so much passion that it can be dismissed as ‘partisan political correctness’ — at least not by most reasonable people. I think it’ll be perfect to read against The Evolution of Desire or some such.
And, of course, it has Neo-liberal in the title which is apprently a selling point these days.