Monday, 26 November 2012
Signaling Theory, Strategic Interaction, and Symbolic Capital
This article is a few years old, but in my view, represents one of the most cutting-edge and comprehensive articles to date on honest (costly) signaling theory. The article presents a fairly broad argument for the application of animal signaling theory to a wide variety of human cultural phenomena. Published in Current Anthropology, it further contains reviewer commentary of six academics and their occasionally critical opinions of the article (actually very similar in format to a BBS article). Overall, however, the article seems to be warmly received by the reviewers and essentially constitutes a very thorough theoretical outline for further rigorous empirical research in the field of signaling theory- everything from altruism, prestige, subsistence production, hunting, and perhaps more controversially, artistic display, symbolic behavior, and semiotics, as well as an intriguing argument for it's application to the evolution of human language.
Here is a link: http://www.ceacb.ucl.ac.uk/cultureclub/files/CC2005-12-13-Bliege-Bird_and_Smith.pdf