Ethnoprimatology and the anthropology of the human-primate interface

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141 Scopus citations


Humans are literal and figurative kin to other primates, with whom many of us coexist in diverse social, ecological, symbolic, conflictual, and even hopeful contexts. Anthropogenic action is changing global and local ecologies as fast as, or faster than, we can study them. Ethnoprimatology, the combining of primatological and anthropological practice and the viewing of humans and other primates as living in integrated and shared ecological and social spaces, is becoming an increasingly popular approach to primate studies in the twenty-first century. This approach plays a core linking role between anthropology and primate studies and may enable us to more effectively assess, and better understand, the complex ecologies and potential for sustainability in human-other primate communities. Here I review the basic theoretical underpinnings, historical contexts, and a selection of current research outcomes for the ethnoprimatological endeavor and indicate what this approach can tell us about human-other primate relations in the Anthropocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Anthropology
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Anthropocene
  • anthropogenic ecology
  • ethnoprimatology
  • niche construction
  • primate studies


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