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Alpha males

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534293.  Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:33 am Reply with quote

I went on a girly holiday to the Caribbean a while ago with a few mates, one of whom is a primatologist. And she noticed distinct parallels in the behaviour of the group of guys that we met as tour guides and her subjects back home.

In competing for attention from us, there were definate 'alpha' types, and a rivalry between the two closest matched (in terms of age, type of job, physical stature). The real alpha male was the guy who owned the tour boat, and was also physically bigger than the others, deeper voice etc. He had the type of presence that mean that he didn't have to try as hard to win as the others to be the centre of attention.

535036.  Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:22 am Reply with quote

What exactly did "winning" entail on this hormone pumped girly holiday trapped on a boat with some primal primate males?

Just don't want to jump to any conclusions here...

(Alan dedicote - watch your back)

535071.  Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:20 pm Reply with quote

I think despite our centuries of civilisation and millions of theories about human behaviour, all this alpha male business does still apply to groups. And it can be females I suppose, its just that I don't work with teenage girls so I haven't got experience of their behaviour.

I was thinking about the alpha male theory in relation to two of my other groups.
Each has a slightly older student in: one has a 22 year old, who has been in prison and in the army and none of the 16-19 year olds would dare take him on [luckily he is a really jovial and calm character, so perhaps that is why the group are generally jovial and calm].

The other group has a livelier 19 year old who is full of energy and covered in tattoos. None of the others would take him on either, so they more or less do what he says and as a result the group are livelier but fairly stable. Hm...

On a different but related note, does anyone know of any small portable guides to psychology/ sociology and the like, which I could keep in my pocket for reading in any spare moments I have? :) e.g. pocket guides or pocket libraries. I've searched all over on Google but just get the usual load of nonsense.

Oh, thanks for all the replies by the way :D

535154.  Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:34 pm Reply with quote

Why not simply see the world as an open book?

Although - there's always the bluffers guides. A book shop would be a good idea - this way you can assess if you're compatible with the presentation style before you part with your readies.

535474.  Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:35 am Reply with quote

I suppose you could see the world as an open book, but how on earth would you ever make any sense of it? Things would just happen randomly and you'd never know why, never know how to predict or cope with anything.

I might be able to get to a bookshop one day, but the internet is far quicker and easier to search on.

535516.  Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:22 pm Reply with quote


Not sure books will help here... perhaps you should look inwards and to those closest to you?

Books might provide a framework - but not the detail I think you're looking for.

535803.  Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:26 am Reply with quote

Er... you've lost me now.

All I want is a set of books called 'a brief guide to sociology/ philosophy/ whatever' but there doesn't seem to be a set. Maybe a niche in the market?

535913.  Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:43 pm Reply with quote

You could look on - there is certainly a 'Sociology for Dummies' and a 'Philosophy for Dummies', both of which would be about at my level!

535960.  Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:53 pm Reply with quote

If you search for 'brief' and 'sociology' on any bookselling website worth its salt you'll find plenty of choices. These come from Amazon (other booksellers are available and may be cheaper, this is just illustrative):

Anthony Giddens
Thio Alex
Richard T. Schaefer

Sociology for Beginners
Introducing Sociology

563580.  Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:57 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Posital wrote:
Yes - it all sounds like normal chimp behaviour.

Are you suggesting that chimps and teenagers have the same social behaviour?

Apart from being loud, smelly, aggressive and flinging poo I don't think that there are too many similarities.

Funnily enough I remember seeing a documentary a while ago describing very interesting similarities to 'adolescent behaviour'.

Male, teenage chimps travel in gangs and go out purposefully looking for fights. They focus on the weak and have been known to brutally attack and even kill other chimps aswell as getting into fights with each other.

And yes, they fling poo. :P


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