Joel has a BA in Economics and Religious Studies from CSU, Sacramento. He entered UCR in Fall 2016. His areas of specialization are Sociological Theory & Evolutionary Sociology and Social Psychology. His interests derive from theoretical concerns, especially regarding the relationship between our nature as evolved beings and how our social world is structured. “Human nature” is a very contentious topic (and concept) in the social sciences, especially in sociology, where the links between our evolved nature and our social structure(s) are perhaps subjected to the most skepticism, or even hostility, within the social sciences. While acknowledging that “biological determinism” is not the correct way to proceed in most issues of human sociality, neither is the opposite assumption of pure “cultural determinism.” His intellectual project is to explore the theoretical issues involved in the interaction between socio-cultural and evolutionary factors in human sociality, especially in regards to the connections between human systems of morality, religion, and their connections to schemes of social control.
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