Cross-cultural correlates of the ownership of private property: a look from another database

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Rudmin, Floyd Webster
Cross-Cultural Correlates , Private Property
Swanson's (1966) database Simmons’ (1937) of 39 variables coded on 50 cultures was re-examined for cross-cultural correlates of the private ownership of property. Reliability comparisons were made with Murdock’s (1967) Ethnographic Atlas. Eliminated were one of Simmons’ cultures because of duplicated sampling within culture clusters and 7 variables because of doubtful reliability. A conservative analysis (p <.OOO3) showed the social institution of private property to be a positive correlate of (1) social classes, (2) agriculture in grain, (3) supernatural sanctions for morality, (4) primogeniture (5) active ancestral spirits (6) sovereign organization, (7) size of population and a negative correlate of (8) collecting and gathering, (9) outgroup intimacy and (10) hunting. Theories that property is a function of patriarchy were not supported, nor were arguments that property regimes were advanced by exogamy and other intimate interactions with alien people.
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