Being human and doing primatology: national, socioeconomic, and ethnic influences on primatological practice



The emerging manifesto, center of the essay collection this commentary is part of, points out that primatology is a primate's science and field of endeavor. It is about primates, and constructed and carried out by primates. But the relationships between different primates involved in primatology cannot be described merely as scientific, zoological, or conservatory. A main point emerging from this perspective is that the relationships amongst primates (as scientists and as subjects) are affected by primatologists' experiences outside of academic science and within the cultural schema that we acquire as members of human societies. My contribution focuses on the primatologists and their sometimes discussed, but too often ignored, cultural and ethnic contexts as influences on how they study, think about, and interact with other primates. In our views and bonds with other primates, do national, class, and ethnic factors count? Am. J. Primatol. 73:233–237, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.