Domestication challenges our understanding of human-environment relationships because it blurs the dichotomy between what is artificial and what is natural. In domestication, biological evolution, environmental change, techniques and practices, anthropological trajectories and sociocultural choices are inextricably interconnected. Domestication is essentially a hybrid phenomenon that needs to be explored with hybrid scientific approaches.

Hybrid Communities: Biosocial Approaches to Domestication and Other Trans-species Relationships attempts for the first time to explore domestication viewed from across disciplines both in its origins and as an ongoing process. This edited collection proposes new biosocial approaches and concepts which integrate the methods of social sciences, archaeology and biology to shed new light on domestication in diachrony and in synchrony.

This book will be of great interest to all scholars working on human-environment relationships, and should also attract readers from the fields of social anthropology, archaeology, genetics, ecology, botany, zoology, history and philosophy.

chapter |20 pages


part I|92 pages

Liminal processes

chapter 3|15 pages

Beyond wild and domestic

Human complex relationships with dogs, wolves, and wolf-dog hybrids

part II|50 pages

How domestication changes humans’ bodies and sociality

chapter 6|12 pages

From fighting against to becoming with

Viruses as companion species

chapter 8|18 pages

Watching the horses

The impact of horses on early pastoralists’ sociality and political ethos in Inner Asia

part III|85 pages

Shared places, entangled lives

chapter 9|14 pages

Growing a shared landscape

Plants and humans over generations among the Duupa farmers of northern Cameroon

chapter 10|18 pages

Fig and olive domestication in the Rif, northern Morocco

Entangled human and tree lives and history

chapter 11|24 pages

Cooperating with the wild

Past and present auxiliary animals assisting humans in their foraging activities

chapter 12|14 pages

Why did the Khamti not domesticate their elephants?

Building a hybrid sociality with tamed elephants

part IV|53 pages

Ongoing transformations

chapter 16|13 pages

Domesticating the machine?

(Re)configuring domestication practices in robotic dairy farming

chapter 17|13 pages

From parasite to reared insect

Humans and mosquitoes in Réunion Island