Ralph B. Jester

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Fathers and High Gods

Jester, Ralph B. 1989. Family Structure and the Belief in High Gods. MA thesis. CSUB California State University, Bakersfield


rj2004@fastmail.fm not gmail Galaxy#Recruiting_Ben_Jester_jan_23_2014

Yes, got both messages (draft Intro and James and Anthon letter) in in fastmail account. Fastmail is my primary email service.

The intro is very interesting. I would like to know more. I will check the Interscience Wiki. I did notice, in the quick overview of the Intro that Murdock (1980) is not yet listed in the References. I greatly anticipate the publication of the book.

Stuck as I am in the hinterlands, and having to re-order my life due to health problems, I am falling behind in my attempts to keep up with the literature or to advance in my own work. Work proceeds slowly, so I cannot, at present make any firm future commitments. I try to get up to Irvine quarterly, but am not always able to spend the time in the library that I would need to do. Do you make it up to UCI at all anymore?

My cell phone is 760-590-7019.

All the best,


Kinship datasets

Dominant Dyads

Ralph Benjamin Jester. Family Structure and Ancestor Beliefs: A Test of the Hsu Hypothesis. UCI Library LD 791.9 .S56 2003 J47 See: Terrence Tatje


9 means the information in the sources was insufficient to make a judgment of 0 through 7. So. 131 cases where I felt reasonably confident about a judgment, five with insufficient information,

The remaining missing data were those for which I was unable to get the sources.

Tatje and Hsu did not code a sample for either ancestor beliefs or dominant dyad. They provided an exemplar of only a few societies, no more than ten or so, as I remember. II used their definitions for coding ancestor beliefs categories 1-7 which form a rough ordinal scale, and added 0, 8, 9 based on my reading of the ethnographies. This is in Chapter 1.

They provided an ideal typology of dominant dyads, but provided little guidance for how to develop an operational definition, listing three suggestions for determining: (1) the most valued, based on overt statements by authoritative persons within the society; (2) most important for maintaining social and cultural institutions; or (3) most important in the socialization of children (dissertation, chapter 2 beginning about 11th page of the chapter. I used the third only because of the Barry, Bacon, & Child variables ; that is why only four dyads are examined.

It is difficult to make any strong conclusions from the findings. This is noted by Tatje and Hsu. They argue that if all three of the methods agree then dominance is concentrated; if not then dominance is diffuse. I found little support for the model (beginning about 15th page of chapter 4), but that is probably lies more in the operationalization than in anything else.

New Dominant Dyads framework by DRW

The *.xls attached corrects 4 errors (marked in red,bold) and adds 2 variables: one classifies between 1-7 a continuum of single or double dyads, one pole (1-3) matricentered starting with MS the other (5-7) patricentered ending with FS. The odd-numbers for a single dyad, the in-between for two dyads: given the possible dyad pairs that have zero frequency, this forms a continuum of some interest:

1 Are there correlations of this dyad continuum with other variables? 2 Is there a correlation between 0,1,2 dyads (coded 1,2,3) and other variables?

So although the Tatje/Naroll theory doesnt work there may be much more to do with these codes.

However, 100 societies remain uncoded.

Could you do me a favor: DOWNLOAD THIS pdf of Murdock's OPC which has 12 chapters on SCCS societies. Murdock, George Peter 1934. Our Primitive Contemporaries. New York: Macmillan. Could you please check if any of these chapters enables you to code which dyads are present, which absent. Noone else will ever be able to code those variables exactly the way you did and this could add an additional 3-8 cases to the present 86 society sample.

I think the Dominant Dyads variables defined above are significant. Taken singly the sample size for each on its own is insufficient to test hypotheses.