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What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?$
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Vinciane Despret

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816692378

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816692378.001.0001

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For Hierarchies

For Hierarchies

Might the dominance of males be a myth?

(p.53) H For Hierarchies
What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?

Vinciane Despret

, Brett Buchanan
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter interrogates the commonly held assumption that competitive hierarchies organized around physical dominance—often among males for access to females of a species—stems from experimental conventions that produce the behaviours they were designed to observe. The author cites several counterexamples among primates and wolves and criticizes the theory of dominance for its artificial introduction of scarce resources and stress in captivity.

Keywords:   competition, dominance, hierarchy, resources, capitivity, scientific methodology, assumptions

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