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Encyclopedia > Sociocultural evolution
In the unilineal evolution model at left, all cultures progress through set stages, while in the multilineal evolution model at right, distinctive culture histories are emphasized.
In the unilineal evolution model at left, all cultures progress through set stages, while in the multilineal evolution model at right, distinctive culture histories are emphasized.

Sociocultural evolution(ism) is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have developed over time. Although such theories typically provide models for understanding the relationship between technologies, social structure, the values of a society, and how and why they change with time, they vary as to the extent to which they describe specific mechanisms of variation and social change. Image File history File links Cultural_evolution. ... Image File history File links Cultural_evolution. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... See Social structure of the United States for an explanation of concepts exsistance within US society. ... Value is a term that expresses the concept of worth in general, and it is thought to be connected to reasons for certain practices, policies or actions. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In music, variation is a formal technique where material is altered during repetition; reiteration with changes. ... It has been suggested that Social development be merged into this article or section. ...


Most 19th century and some 20th century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a whole, arguing that different societies are at different stages of social development. At present this thread is continued to some extent within the World System approach. Many of the more recent 20th-century approaches focus on changes specific to individual societies and reject the idea of directional change, or social progress. Most archaeologists and cultural anthropologists work within the framework of modern theories of sociocultural evolution. Modern approaches to sociocultural evolution include neoevolutionism, sociobiology, theory of modernization and theory of postindustrial society. Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... For other meanings of development used in and outside social sciences, see development. ... Unlike former sociological theories, which presented general models of social change with particular focus at the societal level, world-systems theory (or world system perspective) explores the role and relationships between societies (and the subsequent changes produced by them). ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... For the magazine about archaeology, see Archaeology (magazine). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Neoevolutionism is a social theory that tried to explain the evolution of societies by drawing on Charles Darwins theory of evolution and discarding some dogmas of the previous social evolutionism. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ...

Contents

Introduction

Anthropologists and sociologists often assume that human beings have natural social tendencies and that particular human social behaviors have non-genetic causes and dynamics (i.e. they are learned in a social environment and through social interaction). Societies exist in complex social (i.e. interacting with other societies) and biotic (i.e. interacting with natural resources and constraints) environments, and adapt themselves to these environments. It is thus inevitable that all societies change. Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... A social animal is a loosely defined term for an organism that is highly interactive with other members of its species to the point of having a recognizable and distinct society. ... In biology, psychology and sociology social behavior is behavior directed towards, or taking place between, members of the same species. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... The social environment is the direct influence of a group of individuals and their contributions to this environment, as both groups and individuals who are in frequent communication with each other within their cultural or socio-economical strata, which create role identity(-ies) and guide the individuals self (sociology... Social interaction is a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions due to the actions by their interaction partner(s). ... The social environment is the direct influence of a group of individuals and their contributions to this environment, as both groups and individuals who are in frequent communication with each other within their cultural or socio-economical strata, which create role identity(-ies) and guide the individuals self (sociology... For other uses, see Biosphere (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ...


Specific theories of social or cultural evolution are usually meant to explain differences between coeval societies, by positing that different societies are at different stages of development. Although such theories typically provide models for understanding the relationship between technologies, social structure, or values of a society, they vary as to the extent to which they describe specific mechanisms of variation and change. By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... See Social structure of the United States for an explanation of concepts exsistance within US society. ... Value is a term that expresses the concept of worth in general, and it is thought to be connected to reasons for certain practices, policies or actions. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ...


Early sociocultural evolution theories—the theories of Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer and Lewis Henry Morgan—developed simultaneously but independently of Charles Darwin's works and were popular from the late 19th century to the end of World War I. These 19th-century unilineal evolution theories claimed that societies start out in a primitive state and gradually become more civilized over time, and equated the culture and technology of Western civilization with progress. Some forms of early sociocultural evolution theories (mainly unilineal ones) have led to much criticised theories like social Darwinism, and scientific racism, used in the past to justify existing policies of colonialism and slavery, and to justify new policies such as eugenics. Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term sociology. ... For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... Scientific racism is a term that describes either obsolete scientific theories of the 19th century or historical and contemporary racist propaganda disguised as scientific research. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Slave redirects here. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ...


Most 19th-century and some 20th-century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a single entity. Most 20th-century approaches, such as multilineal evolution, however, focus on changes specific to individual societies. Moreover, they reject directional change (i.e. orthogenetic, teleological or progressive change). Most archaeologists work within the framework of multilineal evolution. Other contemporary approaches to social change include neoevolutionism, sociobiology, dual inheritance theory, theory of modernisation and theory of postindustrial society. Multilineal evolution is a 20th century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. ... Orthogenesis, orthogenetic evolution or autogenesis, is the hypothesis that life has an innate tendency to move, in a unilinear fashion, to ever greater perfection. ... Teleology is the philosophical study of purpose (from the Greek teleos, perfect, complete, which in turn comes from telos, end, result). ... For the magazine about archaeology, see Archaeology (magazine). ... Neoevolutionism is a social theory that tried to explain the evolution of societies by drawing on Charles Darwins theory of evolution and discarding some dogmas of the previous social evolutionism. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Dual inheritance theory, (or DIT), in sharp contrast to the notion that culture overrides biology, posits that humans are products of the interaction between biological evolution and cultural evolution. ... Social Evolution(ism), also known as Cultural evolution(ism) or Socio-cultural evolution(ism), is a anthropological and sociological social theory that holds that societies and cultures progress through stages of increasing development, that is, are influenced by the process of social progress and evolve from simple to complex forms. ... A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ...


Classical social evolutionism

Development

The 14th century Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun concluded that societies are living organisms that experience cyclic birth, growth, maturity, decline, and ultimately death due to universal causes several centuries before the Western civilisation developed the science of sociology. Nonetheless, theories of social and cultural evolution were common in modern European thought. Prior to the 18th century, Europeans predominantly believed that societies on Earth were in a state of decline. European society held up the world of antiquity as a standard to aspire to, and Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome produced levels of technical accomplishment which Europeans of the Middle Ages sought to emulate. At the same time, Christianity taught that people lived in a debased world fundamentally inferior to the Garden of Eden and Heaven. During The Age of Enlightenment, however, European self-confidence grew and the notion of progress became increasingly popular. It was during this period that what would later become known as "sociological and cultural evolution" would have its roots. Islam (Arabic: ; ( â–¶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Ibn KhaldÅ«n or Ibn Khaldoun (full name Arabic: , ) (May 27, 1332/732AH – March 19, 1406/808AH), was a famous Arab Muslim historian, historiographer, demographer, economist, philosopher and sociologist born in present-day Tunisia. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Western philosophy is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in Ancient Greece, and including the predominant philosophical thinking of Europe and its former colonies, and continues to this day. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ...


The Enlightenment thinkers often speculated that societies progressed through stages of increasing development and looked for the logic, order and the set of scientific truths that determined the course of human history. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, for example, argued that social development was an inevitable and determined process, similar to an acorn which has no choice but to become an oak tree. Likewise, it was assumed that societies start out primitive, perhaps in a Hobbesian state of nature, and naturally progress toward something resembling industrial Europe. Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... History is often used as a generic term for information about the past, such as in geologic history of the Earth. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of human societies. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and, with Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, one of the representatives of German idealism. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ... State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition of humanity before the states foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. ...


While earlier authors such as Michel de Montaigne discussed how societies change through time, it was truly the Scottish Enlightenment which proved key in the development of sociocultural evolution. After Scotland's union with England in 1707, several Scottish thinkers pondered what the relationship between progress and the 'decadence' brought about by increased trade with England and the affluence it produced. The result was a series of "conjectural histories". Authors such as Adam Ferguson, John Millar, and Adam Smith argued that all societies pass through a series of four stages: hunting and gathering, pastoralism and nomadism, agricultural, and finally a stage of commerce. These thinkers thus understood the changes Scotland was undergoing as a transition from an agricultural to a mercantile society. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne-Delecroix (IPA pronunciation: []) (February 28, 1533–September 13, 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. ... The Scottish Enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in Scotland, running from approximately 1740 to 1800. ... The Acts of Union were twin Acts of Parliament passed in 1707 (taking effect on 26 March) by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Adam Ferguson, also known as Ferguson of Raith (June 20, 1723 (O.S.) - February 22, 1816) was a philosopher and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment. ... John Millar of Glasgow (June 22, 1735 - May 30, 1801) was a Scottish philosopher and historian. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Mercantilism is the economic theory that a nations prosperity depended upon its supply of gold and silver, that the total volume of trade is unchangeable. ...

Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte

Philosophical concepts of progress (such as those expounded by the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel) developed as well during this period. In France authors such as Claude Adrien Helvétius and other philosophes were influenced by this Scottish tradition. Later thinkers such as Comte de Saint-Simon developed these ideas. August Comte in particular presented a coherent view of social progress and a new discipline to study it—sociology. The founders of sociology spent decades attempting to define their new discipline. In the course of this effort they tried several highly divergent pathways, some suggested by methods and contents of other sciences, others invented outright by the imagination of the scholar. Download high resolution version (490x709, 23 KB)from fr: This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (490x709, 23 KB)from fr: This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Claude Adrien Helvétius (February 26, 1715 - December 26, 1771) was a French philosopher and litterateur. ... The philosophes (French for philosophers) were a group of intellectuals of the 18th century Enlightenment. ... Henri de Saint-Simon Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon (October 17, 1760 – May 19, 1825), the founder of French socialism, was born in Paris. ... Auguste Comte Auguste Comte (full name Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte) (January 17 (recorded January 19), 1798 _ September 5, 1857) was a positivist thinker and a founder of the discipline of sociology. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ...


These developments took place in a wider context. The first process was colonialism. Although imperial powers settled most differences of opinion with their colonial subjects with force, increased awareness of non-Western peoples raised new questions for European scholars about the nature of society and culture. Similarly, effective administration required some degree of understanding of other cultures. Emerging theories of sociocultural evolution allowed Europeans to organise their new knowledge in a way that reflected and justified their increasing political and economic domination of others: colonised people were less evolved, colonising people were more evolved. When the 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described primeval man as living in conditions in which there are "no arts, no letters, no society" and his life as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short", he was very much proclaiming a popular conception of the "savage." Everything that was good and civilized resulted from the slow development out of this lowly state. Even rationalistic philosophers like Voltaire implicitly assumed that enlightenment gradually resulted in the upward progress of humankind. It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Cecil Rhodes: Cape-Cairo railway project. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Public administration can be broadly described as the study and implementation of policy. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ... Look up savage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the singer of the same name, see Voltaire (musician). ...


The second process was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism which allowed and promoted continual revolutions in the means of production. Emerging theories of sociocultural evolution reflected a belief that the changes in Europe wrought by the Industrial Revolution and capitalism were obvious improvements. Industrialisation, combined with the intense political change brought about by the French Revolution, U.S. Constitution and Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, which were paving the way for the dominance of democracy, forced European thinkers to reconsider some of their assumptions about how society was organised. A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Means of production (abbreviated MoP; German: Produktionsmittel), also called means of labour are the materials, tools and other instruments used by workers to make products. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Syng inkstand, with which the Constitution was signed The Constitution of the United States is the supreme... May 3rd Constitution (painting by Jan Matejko, 1891). ... The history of democracy traces back from its origins in ancient world to its re-emergence and rise from the 17th century to the present day. ...


Eventually, in the 19th century three great classical theories of social and historical change were created: the sociocultural evolutionism, the social cycle theory and the Marxist historical materialism theory. Those theories had one common factor: they all agreed that the history of humanity is pursuing a certain fixed path, most likely that of the social progress. Thus, each past event is not only chronologically, but causally tied to the present and future events. Those theories postulated that by recreating the sequence of those events, sociology could discover the laws of history. Social cycle theory is one of the earliest social theories in sociology. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... History studies time in human terms. ...


Sociocultural evolutionism and the idea of progress

Main article: Unilineal evolution

While sociocultural evolutionists agree that the evolution-like process leads to social progress, classical social evolutionists have developed many different theories, known as theories of unilineal evolution. Sociocultural evolutionism was the prevailing theory of early sociocultural anthropology and social commentary, and is associated with scholars like August Comte, Edward Burnett Tylor, Lewis Henry Morgan, Benjamin Kidd, L.T. Hobhouse and Herbert Spencer. Sociocultural evolutionism represented an attempt to formalise social thinking along scientific lines, later influenced by the biological theory of evolution. If organisms could develop over time according to discernable, deterministic laws, then it seemed reasonable that societies could as well. They developed analogies between human society and the biological organism and introduced into sociological theory such biological concepts as variation, natural selection, and inheritance—evolutionary factors resulting in the progress of societies through stages of savagery and barbarism to civilization, by virtue of the survival of the fittest. Together with the idea of progress there grew the notion of fixed "stages" through which human societies progress, usually numbering three—savagery, barbarism, and civilization—but sometimes many more. The Marquis de Condorcet listed 10 stages, or "epochs", the final one having started with the French Revolution, which was destined, in his eyes, to usher in the rights of man and the perfection of the human race. Some writers also perceived in the growth stages of each individual a recapitulation of these stages of society. Strange customs were thus accounted for on the assumption that they were throwbacks to earlier useful practices. This also marked the beginning of anthropology as a scientific discipline and a departure from traditional religious views of "primitive" cultures. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Social commentary is the act of expressing an opinion on the nature of society. ... Auguste Comte Auguste Comte (full name Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte) (January 17 (recorded January 19), 1798 _ September 5, 1857) was a positivist thinker and a founder of the discipline of sociology. ... Edward Burnett Tylor. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... Benjamin Kidd (1858- ? ) was an English sociologist. ... Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (September 8, 1864 - June 21, 1929) was a British liberal politician, one of the theorists of new liberalism. ... For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... In music, variation is a formal technique where material is altered during repetition; reiteration with changes. ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Herbert Spencer coined the phrase, survival of the fittest. ... “Condorcet” redirects here. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ...

Herbert Spencer.
Herbert Spencer.

The term "Classical Social Evolutionism" is most closely associated with the 19th-century writings of Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer (who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest") and William Graham Sumner. In many ways Spencer's theory of "cosmic evolution" has much more in common with the works of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and August Comte than with contemporary works of Charles Darwin. Spencer also developed and published his theories several years earlier than Darwin. In regard to social institutions, however, there is a good case that Spencer's writings might be classified as 'Social Evolutionism'. Although he wrote that societies over time progressed, and that progress was accomplished through competition, he stressed that the individual (rather than the collectivity) is the unit of analysis that evolves, that evolution takes place through natural selection and that it affects social as well as biological phenomenon. Nonetheless, the publication of Darwin's works proved a boon to the proponents of sociocultural evolution. The world of social science took the ideas of biological evolution as an attractive solution to similar questions regarding the origins and development of social behaviour and the idea of a society as an evolving organism was a biological analogy that is taken up by many anthropologists and sociologists even today. Download high resolution version (1000x1541, 105 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1000x1541, 105 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term sociology. ... For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ... Herbert Spencer coined the phrase, survival of the fittest. ... William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) was the leading American advocate of a free-trade industrial society, which is what he believed the socialists meant by capitalism. ... Cosmic evolution is the scientific study of universal change. ... Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... As commonly used, individual refers to a person or to any specific object in a collection. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Both Spencer and Comte view the society as a kind of organism subject to the process of growth—from simplicity to complexity, from chaos to order, from generalisation to specialisation, from flexibility to organisation. They agreed that the process of societies growth can be divided into certain stages, have their beginning and eventual end, and that this growth is in fact social progress—each newer, more evolved society is better. Thus progressivism became one of the basic ideas underlying the theory of sociocultural evolutionism. Growth can mean increase in spatial number or complexity for concrete entities in time or increase in some other dimension for abstract or hard-to-measure entities. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... This article is about Progressivism. ...


August Comte, known as father of sociology, formulated the law of three stages: human development progresses from the theological stage, in which nature was mythically conceived and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from supernatural beings, through metaphysical stage in which nature was conceived of as a result of obscure forces and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from them until the final positive stage in which all abstract and obscure forces are discarded, and natural phenomena are explained by their constant relationship. This progress is forced through the development of human mind, and increasing application of thought, reasoning and logic to the understanding of the world.[1] Auguste Comte Auguste Comte (full name Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte) (January 17 (recorded January 19), 1798 _ September 5, 1857) was a positivist thinker and a founder of the discipline of sociology. ... Law of three stages is a concept by Auguste Compte where he states that society as a whole and each particular science develops through three mentalistically conceived stages: the theocratic stage, the metaphysical stage, and the positive stage. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... // Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ...


Herbert Spencer, who believed that society was evolving toward increasing freedom for individuals; and so held that government intervention ought to be minimal in social and political life, differentiated between two phases of development, focusing is on the type of internal regulation within societies. Thus he differentiated between military and industrial societies. The earlier, more primitive military society has a goal of conquest and defence, is centralised, economically self-sufficient, collectivistic, puts the good of a group over the good of an individual, uses compulsion, force and repression, rewards loyalty, obedience and discipline. The industrial society has a goal of production and trade, is decentralised, interconnected with other societies via economic relations, achieves its goals through voluntary cooperation and individual self-restraint, treats the good of individual as the highest value, regulates the social life via voluntary relations, values initiative, independence and innovation.[2] In military science, defense (or defence) is the art of preventing an enemy from conquering territory. ... Centralization is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location and/or group. ... For other meanings see Economy (disambiguation). ... Collective can also refer to the collective pitch flight control in helicopters A collective is a group of people who share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project(s) to achieve a common objective. ... It has been suggested that Commerce be merged into this article or section. ... Decentralisation (American: decentralization) is any of various means of more widely distributing decision-making to bring it closer to the point of service or action. ...


Regardless of how scholars of Spencer interpret his relation to Darwin, Spencer proved to be an incredibly popular figure in the 1870s, particularly in the United States. Authors such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske, John W. Burgess, Lester Frank Ward, Lewis H. Morgan and other thinkers of the gilded age all developed similar theories of social evolutionism as a result of their exposure to Spencer as well as Darwin. Edward Livingston Youmans (born June 3, 1821 in Coeymans, New York; died January 18, 1887 in New York City) - American scientific writer, editor, and lecturer and founder of Popular Science magazine. ... William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) was the leading American advocate of a free-trade industrial society, which is what he believed the socialists meant by capitalism. ... John Fiske (1842–1901), born Edmund Fisk Green, was an American philosopher and historian. ... John W. Burgess (1844-1931) was a political scientist at Columbia University and a member of the Dunning School of Reconstruction. ... Lester Frank Ward Lester F. Ward (June 18, 1841–April 18, 1913) was an American botanist, paleontologist, and sociologist. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (November 21, 1818 – December 17, 1881) was an American ethnologist, anthropologist and writer. ... The Breakers, a gilded-age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. ...

Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis H. Morgan

Lewis H. Morgan, an anthropologist whose ideas have had much impact on sociology, in his 1877 classic Ancient Societies differentiated between three eras: savagery, barbarism and civilization, which are divided by technological inventions, like fire, bow, pottery in savage era, domestication of animals, agriculture, metalworking in barbarian era and alphabet and writing in civilization era. Thus Morgan introduced a link between the social progress and technological progress. Morgan viewed the technological progress as a force behind the social progress, and any social change—in social institutions, organisations or ideologies have their beginning in the change of technology.[3] Morgan's theories were popularised by Friedrich Engels, who based his famous work The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on it. For Engels and other Marxists, this theory was important as it supported their conviction that materialistic factors—economical and technological—are decisive in shaping the fate of humanity. Image File history File links Lewis Henry Morgan from [1] File links The following pages link to this file: Lewis H. Morgan Sociocultural evolution ... Lewis Henry Morgan (November 21, 1818 – December 17, 1881) was an American ethnologist, anthropologist and writer. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Savage has various meanings. ... Barbarism may refer to: Barbarism (derived from barbarian), the condition to which a society or civilization may be reduced after a societal collapse, relative to an earlier period of cultural or technological advancement; the term may also be used pejoratively to describe another society or civilization which is deemed inferior... Central New York City. ... For other uses, see Fire (disambiguation). ... This image depicts a typical bow, as made by the Huns, lying against a tree. ... Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... Domesticated animals, plants, and other organisms are those whose collective behavior, life cycle, or physiology has been altered as a result of their breeding and living conditions being under human control for multiple generations. ... Turned chess pieces Metalworking is the craft and practice of working with metals to create structures or machine parts. ... ABCs redirects here, for the Alien Big Cats, see British big cats. ... “Write” redirects here. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... Origins of theory According to Czech philosopher Radovan Richta, in his 1967 publication “Man and Technology in the Revolution of Our Day”, technology (which he defines as “a material entity created by the application of mental and physical effort to nature in order to achieve some value... It has been suggested that Social development be merged into this article or section. ... A social institution is any institution in a socity that works to socialize the groups or people in it. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820 – August 5, 1895) was a German social scientist and philosopher, who developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... Friedrich Engels The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State: in the light of the researches of Lewis H. Morgan is a historical materialist treatise written by Friedrich Engels and published in 1884. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ...


Emile Durkheim, another of the "fathers" of sociology, has developed a similar, dichotomal view of social progress. His key concept was social solidarity, as he defined the social evolution in terms of progressing from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity. In mechanical solidarity, people are self-sufficient, there is little integration and thus there is the need for use of force and repression to keep society together. In organic solidarity, people are much more integrated and interdependent and specialisation and cooperation is extensive. Progress from mechanical to organic solidarity is based first on population growth and increasing population density, second on increasing "morality density" (development of more complex social interactions) and thirdly, on the increasing specialisation in workplace. To Durkheim, the most important factor in the social progress is the division of labour. David Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as the founder of modern sociology. ... A dichotomy is a division into two non-overlapping or mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive parts. ... Social Solidarity is the degree or type (see below) of integration of a society. ... Solidarity in sociology refers to the feeling or condition of unity based on common goals, interests, and sympathies among a groups members. ... Solidarity in sociology refers to the feeling or condition of unity based on common goals, interests, and sympathies among a groups members. ... Theoretical Human population increase from 10,000 BC – 2000 AD. Population growth is the change in population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals in a population per unit time. ... Social interaction is a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions due to the actions by their interaction partner(s). ... Division of labour is the specialisation of cooperative labour in specific, circumscribed tasks and roles, intended to increase efficiency of output. ...

Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim

Anthropologists Sir E.B. Tylor in England and Lewis Henry Morgan in the United States worked with data from indigenous people, whom they claimed represented earlier stages of cultural evolution that gave insight into the process and progression of evolution of culture. Morgan would later have a significant influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who developed a theory of sociocultural evolution in which the internal contradictions in society created a series of escalating stages that ended in a socialist society (see Marxism). Tylor and Morgan elaborated the theory of unilinear evolution, specifying criteria for categorising cultures according to their standing within a fixed system of growth of humanity as a whole and examining the modes and mechanisms of this growth. Theirs was often a concern with culture in general, not with individual cultures. from Polish wiki from web site declaration of GNU Free Documentation License source::http://www. ... from Polish wiki from web site declaration of GNU Free Documentation License source::http://www. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Edward Burnett Tylor. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... Indigenous peoples are: Peoples living in an area prior to colonization by a state Peoples living in an area within a nation-state, prior to the formation of a nation-state, but who do not identify with the dominant nation. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820 – August 5, 1895) was a German social scientist and philosopher, who developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ...


Their analysis of cross-cultural data was based on three assumptions:

  1. contemporary societies may be classified and ranked as more "primitive" or more "civilized";
  2. There are a determinate number of stages between "primitive" and "civilized" (e.g. band, tribe, chiefdom, and state),
  3. All societies progress through these stages in the same sequence, but at different rates.

Theorists usually measured progression (that is, the difference between one stage and the next) in terms of increasing social complexity (including class differentiation and a complex division of labour), or an increase in intellectual, theological, and aesthetic sophistication. These 19th-century ethnologists used these principles primarily to explain differences in religious beliefs and kinship terminologies among various societies. A Band Society is the simplest form of human society. ... http://www. ... A chiefdom is any community led by an individual known as a chief. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... Ethnology (from the Greek ethnos, meaning people) is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the racial or national divisions of humanity. ...


Lester Frank Ward developed Spencer's theory but unlike Spencer, who considered the evolution to be general process applicable to the entire world, physical and sociological, Ward differentiated sociological evolution from biological evolution. He stressed that humans create goals for themselves and strive to realise them, whereas there is no such intelligence and awareness guiding the non-human world, which develops more or less at random. He created a hierarchy of evolution processes. First, there is cosmogenesis, creation and evolution of the world. Then, after life develops, there is biogenesis. Development of humanity leads to anthropogenesis, which is influenced by the human mind. Finally, when society develops, so does sociogenesis, which is the science of shaping the society to fit with various political, cultural and ideological goals. Lester Frank Ward Lester F. Ward (June 18, 1841–April 18, 1913) was an American botanist, paleontologist, and sociologist. ... Cosmogenesis is the term created by the French Jesuit Priest and Scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to describe the cosmological process of the creation of the Universe. ... Biogenesis is the process of lifeforms producing other lifeforms, e. ... Noogenesis (Greek: noös=mind + genos=birth) is the fourth of five stages of evolution described by French Jesuit scientist and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his first posthumously published book, The Phenomenon of Man (written during 1938–40, published in French: 1955; English: 1959, p. ... The mind is the term most commonly used to describe the higher functions of the human brain, particularly those of which humans are subjectively conscious, such as personality, thought, reason, memory, intelligence and emotion. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ...

Edward Burnett Tylor
Edward Burnett Tylor

Edward Burnett Tylor, pioneer of anthropology, focused on the evolution of culture worldwide, noting that culture is an important part of every society and that it is also subject to the process of evolution. He believed that societies were at different stages of cultural development and that the purpose of anthropology was to reconstruct the evolution of culture, from primitive beginnings to the modern state. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Edward Burnett Tylor. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Sociocultural evolution(ism) is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, first proposed by scholars from diverse backgrounds in the nineteenth century, and since then by various anthropologists and sociologists and social theorists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. ...


Ferdinand Tönnies describes the evolution as the development from informal society, where people have many liberties and there are few laws and obligations, to modern, formal rational society, dominated by traditions and laws and are restricted from acting as they wish. He also notes that there is a tendency of standardisation and unification, when all smaller societies are absorbed into the single, large, modern society. Thus Tönnies can be said to describe part of the process known today as the globalization. Tönnies was also one of the first sociologists to claim that the evolution of society is not necessarily going in the right direction, that the social progress is not perfect, and it can even be called a regress as the newer, more evolved societies are obtained only after paying a high cost, resulting in decreasing satisfaction of individuals making up that society. Tönnies' work became the foundation of neoevolutionism. Ferdinand Tönnies (July 26, 1855, near Oldenswort (Eiderstedt) - April 9, 1936, Kiel, Germany) was a German sociologist. ... Standardisation or standardization (sometimes abbreviated s13n), in the context related to technologies and industries, is the process of establishing a technical standard among competing entities in a market, where this will bring benefits without hurting competition. ... For the idea of global unification, see globalization. ... A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... In statistics, regression analysis examines the relation of a dependent variable (response variable) to specified independent variables (explanatory variables). ... Neoevolutionism is a social theory that tried to explain the evolution of societies by drawing on Charles Darwins theory of evolution and discarding some dogmas of the previous social evolutionism. ...


Although not usually counted as a sociocultural evolutionist, Max Weber's theory of tripartite classification of authority can be viewed as an evolutionary theory as well. Weber distinguishes three ideal types of political leadership, domination and authority: charismatic domination (familial and religious), traditional domination (patriarchs, patrimonalism, feudalism) and legal (rational) domination (modern law and state, bureaucracy). He also notes that legal domination is the most advanced, and that societies evolve from having mostly traditional and charismatic authorities to mostly rational and legal ones. For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Ideal type, also known as pure type, or idealtyp (in the original German), is a typological term invented by sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920). ... The word leadership can refer to: The process of leading. ... Domination is a supreme or preeminate control, rule, or governing; plural dominion. ... This article is about authority as a concept. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Traditional authority (also known as traditional domination) is a form of leadership in which the authority of an organization or a ruling regime is largely tied to the tradition. ... Rational-legal authority (also known as rational authority, legal authority, rational domination, legal domination) is a form of leadership in which the authority of an organization or a ruling regime is largely tied to legal rationality, legal legitimacy and bureaucracy. ...


Critique and impact on modern theories

The early 20th century inaugurated a period of systematic critical examination, and rejection of the sweeping generalisations of the unilineal theories of sociocultural evolution. Cultural anthropologists such as Franz Boas, and his students like Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, typically regarded as the leader of anthropology's rejection of classical social evolutionism, used sophisticated ethnography and more rigorous empirical methods to argue that Spencer, Tylor, and Morgan's theories were speculative and systematically misrepresented ethnographic data. Theories regarding "stages" of evolution were especially criticised as illusions. Additionally, they rejected the distinction between "primitive" and "civilized" (or "modern"), pointing out that so-called primitive contemporary societies have just as much history, and were just as evolved, as so-called civilized societies. They therefore argued that any attempt to use this theory to reconstruct the histories of non-literate (i.e. leaving no historical documents) peoples is entirely speculative and unscientific. They observed that the postulated progression, which typically ended with a stage of civilization identical to that of modern Europe, is ethnocentric. They also pointed out that the theory assumes that societies are clearly bounded and distinct, when in fact cultural traits and forms often cross social boundaries and diffuse among many different societies (and is thus an important mechanism of change). Boas introduced the culture history approach, which concentrated on fieldwork among native peoples to identify actual cultural and historical processes rather than speculative stages of growth. This "culture history" approach dominated American anthropology for the first half of the 20th century and so influenced anthropology elsewhere that high-level generalization and "systems building" became far less common than in the past. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Franz Boas Franz Boas (July 9, 1858 – December 21, 1942[1]) was one of the pioneers of modern anthropology and is often called the Father of American Anthropology. Born in Germany, Boas worked for most of his life in North America. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901, Philadelphia – November 15, 1978, New York City) was an American cultural anthropologist. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... This box:      Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of ones own culture. ... Cultural-history archaeology or simply Culture history is a form of archaeological theory. ...


Later critics observed that this assumption of firmly bounded societies was proposed precisely at the time when European powers were colonising non-Western societies, and was thus self-serving. Many anthropologists and social theorists now consider unilineal cultural and social evolution a Western myth seldom based on solid empirical grounds. Critical theorists argue that notions of social evolution are simply justifications for power by the elites of society. Finally, the devastating World Wars that occurred between 1914 and 1945 crippled Europe's self-confidence. After millions of deaths, genocide, and the destruction of Europe's industrial infrastructure, the idea of progress seemed dubious at best. For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ...


Thus modern sociocultural evolutionism rejects most of classical social evolutionism due to various theoretical problems:

  1. The theory was deeply ethnocentric—it makes heavy value judgements on different societies; with Western civilization seen as the most valuable.
  2. It assumed all cultures follow the same path or progression and have the same goals.
  3. It equated civilization with material culture (technology, cities, etc.)
  4. It equated evolution with progress or fitness, based on deep misunderstandings of evolutionary theory.
  5. It is greatly contradicted by evidence. Many (but not all) supposedly primitive societies are arguably more peaceful and equitable/democratic than many modern societies, and tend to be healthier with regard to diet and ecology.

Because social evolution was posited as a scientific theory, it was often used to support unjust and often racist social practices—particularly colonialism, slavery, and the unequal economic conditions present within industrialized Europe. Social Darwinism is especially criticised, as it led to some philosophies used by the Nazis.. Ethnocentrism (Greek ethnos nation + -centrism) is a set of beliefs or practices based on the view that ones own group is the center of everything. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Central New York City. ... In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: A material culture comprises physical objects from the past, the study of which is the basis of the discipline. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Herbert Spencer coined the phrase, survival of the fittest. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... In nutrition, the diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... This box:      Racism has many definitions, the most common and widely accepted is that members of one race are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Slave redirects here. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ...


Modern theories

Main article: multilineal evolution
Composite image of the Earth at night, created by NASA and NOAA. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, most regions remain thinly populated or unlit.
Composite image of the Earth at night, created by NASA and NOAA. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, most regions remain thinly populated or unlit.

When the critique of classical social evolutionism became widely accepted, modern anthropological and sociological approaches changed respectively . Modern theories are careful to avoid unsourced, ethnocentric speculation, comparisons, or value judgements; more or less regarding individual societies as existing within their own historical contexts. These conditions provided the context for new theories such as cultural relativism and multilineal evolution. Multilineal evolution is a 20th century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. ... Download high resolution version (2400x1200, 534 KB)Composite image of the Earth at night, created by NASA and NOAA. NASA Description: This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). ... Download high resolution version (2400x1200, 534 KB)Composite image of the Earth at night, created by NASA and NOAA. NASA Description: This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about the American space agency. ... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... Cultural relativism is the principle that beliefs and activities should be interpreted in terms of his or her own culture. ... Multilineal evolution is a 20th century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. ...


In 1941 anthropologist Robert Redfield wrote about a shift from 'folk society' to 'urban society'. By the 1940s cultural anthropologists such as Leslie White and Julian Steward sought to revive an evolutionary model on a more scientific basis, and succeeded in establishing an approach known as the neoevolutionism. White rejected the opposition between "primitive" and "modern" societies but did argue that societies could be distinguished based on the amount of energy they harnessed, and that increased energy allowed for greater social differentiation (White's law). Steward on the other hand rejected the 19th-century notion of progress, and instead called attention to the Darwinian notion of "adaptation", arguing that all societies had to adapt to their environment in some way. Robert Redfield (1897-1958) was an American anthropologist and ethnolinguist. ... Leslie Alvin White ([19 January [1900]], Salida Colorado -- 31 March 1975) was an anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution and his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. ... Julian Haynes Steward (January 31, 1902 – February 6, 1972) was an American anthropologist best known for his role in the development of a scientific theory of cultural evolution in the years following World War II. Steward was born in Washington, D.C. His father was the chief of the Board... Neoevolutionism is a social theory that tried to explain the evolution of societies by drawing on Charles Darwins theory of evolution and discarding some dogmas of the previous social evolutionism. ... Whites Law states that, other factors remaining constant, culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased, or as the efficiency of the instrumental means of putting the energy to work is increased. ...


The anthropologists Marshall Sahlins and Elman Service prepared an edited volume, Evolution and Culture, in which they attempted to synthesise White's and Steward's approaches.[4] Other anthropologists, building on or responding to work by White and Steward, developed theories of cultural ecology and ecological anthropology. The most prominent examples are Peter Vayda and Roy Rappaport. By the late 1950s, students of Steward such as Eric Wolf and Sidney Mintz turned away from cultural ecology to Marxism, World Systems Theory, Dependency theory and Marvin Harris's Cultural materialism. Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Elman Service was a cultural anthropologist. ... Andrew P. Vayda Progressive Contextualization was pioneered and developed by Profesor Andrew P. Vayda and a number of his research team in 1979-1984 to understand cause of damage and destruction of forest and land during the New Order Regime in Indonisia as well as practical ethnography. ... Roy A. Rappaport (1926–1997) was an anthropologist known for his contributions to the anthropological study of ritual and to ecological anthropology. ... Eric Wolf (1923-1999) was an anthropologist best known for his studies of Latin America and his advocacy of Marxist perspectives within anthropology. ... Sidney Wilfred Mintz (born November 16, 1922 in Dover, New Jersey) is an anthropologist best known for his studies of Latin America and the Caribbean. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Unlike former sociological theories, which presented general models of social change with particular focus at the societal level, world-systems theory (or world system perspective) explores the role and relationships between societies (and the subsequent changes produced by them). ... Main International Relations Theories Politics Portal This box:      Dependency theory is a body of social science theories, both from developed and developing nations, that create a worldview which suggests that poor underdeveloped states of the periphery are exploited by wealthy developed nations of the centre, in order to sustain economic... Marvin Harris Marvin Harris (August 18, 1927 – October 25, 2001) was an American anthropologist. ... The term Cultural materialism refers to two separate scholarly endeavours: It is an anthropological research paradigm championed most notably by Marvin Harris. ...


Today most anthropologists reject 19th-century notions of progress and the three assumptions of unilineal evolution. Following Steward, they take seriously the relationship between a culture and its environment to explain different aspects of a culture. But most modern cultural anthropologists have adopted a general systems approach, examining cultures as emergent systems and argue that one must consider the whole social environment, which includes political and economic relations among cultures. There are still others who continue to reject the entirety of the evolutionary thinking and look instead at historical contingencies, contacts with other cultures, and the operation of cultural symbol systems. As a result, the simplistic notion of "cultural evolution" has grown less useful and given way to an entire series of more nuanced approaches to the relationship of culture and environment. In the area of development studies, authors such as Amartya Sen have developed an understanding of "development" and 'human flourishing' that also question more simplistic notions of progress, while retaining much of their original inspiration. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Neoevolutionism

Main article: Neoevolutionism

Neoevolutionism is the first theory of the series of modern multilineal evolution theories. It emerged in 1930s and extensively developed in the period following the Second World War and was incorporated into both anthropology and sociology in the 1960s. It bases its theories on the empirical evidences from areas of archaeology, palaeontology and historiography and tries to eliminate any references to system of values, be it moral or cultural, instead trying to remain objective and simply descriptive. Neoevolutionism is a social theory that tried to explain the evolution of societies by drawing on Charles Darwins theory of evolution and discarding some dogmas of the previous social evolutionism. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... For the magazine about archaeology, see Archaeology (magazine). ... A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... Historiography is a term with multiple meanings that has changed with time, place and observer, and is thus resistant to a single encompassing meaning. ... “Value” redirects here. ...


While 19th-century evolutionism explained how culture develops by giving general principles of its evolutionary process, it was dismissed by the Historical Particularists as unscientific in the early 20th century. It was the neoevolutionary thinkers who brought back evolutionary thought and developed it to be acceptable to contemporary anthropology. Historical Particularism (coined by Marvin Harris in the 1960s) is widely considered the first American anthropological school of thought. ...


The neoevolutionism discards many ideas of classical social evolutionism, namely that of social progress, so dominant in previous sociology evolution-related theories. Then neoevolutionism discards the determinism argument and introduces probability, arguing that accidents and free will have much impact on the process of social evolution. It also supports the counterfactual history—asking "what if" and considering different possible path that social evolution may (or might have) taken, and thus allows for the fact that various cultures may develop in different ways, some skipping entire stages others have passed through. The neoevolutionism stresses the importance of empirical evidence. While 19th-century evolutionism used value judgment and assumptions for interpreting data, neoevolutionism relied on measurable information for analysing the process of sociocultural evolution. Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... Probability is the likelihood that something is the case or will happen. ... Counterfactual history, also sometimes referred to as virtual history, is a recent form of history which attempts to answer what if questions known as counterfactuals. ... A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. ...


Leslie White, author of The Evolution of Culture: The Development of Civilization to the Fall of Rome (1959), attempted to create a theory explaining the entire history of humanity. The most important factor in his theory is technology: Social systems are determined by technological systems, wrote White in his book,[5] echoing the earlier theory of Lewis Henry Morgan. As measure of society advancement, he proposed the measure of a society's energy consumption. He differentiates between five stages of human development. In first, people use energy of their own muscles. In second, they use energy of domesticated animals. In third, they use the energy of plants (so White refers to agricultural revolution here). In fourth, they learn to use the energy of natural resources: coal, oil, gas. In fifth, they harness the nuclear energy. White introduced a formulae, P=E*T, where E is a measure of energy consumed, and T is the measure of efficiency of technical factors utilising the energy. This theory is similar to Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev's later theory of the Kardashev scale. Leslie Alvin White ([19 January [1900]], Salida Colorado -- 31 March 1975) was an anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution and his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... Social structure (also referred to as a social system) is a system in which people forming the society are organized by a patterns of prelationships. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... Energy consumption is a measure of the rate of energy use such as fuels or electricity. ... Domesticated animals, plants, and other organisms are those whose collective behavior, life cycle, or physiology has been altered as a result of their breeding and living conditions being under human control for multiple generations. ... In the Earths history there have been a number of agricultural revolutions. ... Nuclear energy is energy released from the atomic nucleus. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Kardashev scale projections ranging from 1900 to 2100. ...


Julian Steward, author of Theory of Culture Change: The Methodology of Multilinear Evolution (1955, reprinted 1979), created the theory of "multilinear" evolution which examined the way in which societies adapted to their environment. This approach was more nuanced than White's theory of "unilinear evolution." Steward on the other hand rejected the 19th-century notion of progress, and instead called attention to the Darwinian notion of "adaptation", arguing that all societies had to adapt to their environment in some way. He argued that different adaptations could be studied through the examination of the specific resources a society exploited, the technology the society relied on to exploit these resources, and the organization of human labour. He further argued that different environments and technologies would require different kinds of adaptations, and that as the resource base or technology changed, so too would a culture. In other words, cultures do not change according to some inner logic, but rather in terms of a changing relationship with a changing environment. Cultures would therefore not pass through the same stages in the same order as they changed—rather, they would change in varying ways and directions. He called his theory "multilineal evolution". He questioned the possibility of creation of a social theory encompassing the entire evolution of humanity; however, he argued that anthropologists are not limited to description of specific existing cultures. He believed it is possible to create theories analysing typical common culture, representative of specific eras or regions. As the decisive factors determining the development of given culture he pointed to technology and economics, and noted there are secondary factors, like political system, ideologies and religion. All those factors push the evolution of given society in several directions at the same time; thus, this is the multilinearity of his theory of evolution. Julian Haynes Steward (January 31, 1902 – February 6, 1972) was an American anthropologist best known for his role in the development of a scientific theory of cultural evolution in the years following World War II. Steward was born in Washington, D.C. His father was the chief of the Board...


Marshall Sahlins, author of Evolution and Culture (1960), divided the evolution of societies into 'general' and 'specific'. General evolution is the tendency of cultural and social systems to increase in complexity, organization and adaptiveness to environment. However, as the various cultures are not isolated, there is interaction and a diffusion of their qualities (like technological inventions). This leads cultures to develop in different ways (specific evolution), as various elements are introduced to them in different combinations and on different stages of evolution. Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Diffusionism is the theory about the development of cultures and technologies, particularly in ancient history. ... For the musical form, see Invention (music). ...


In his Power and Prestige (1966) and Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology (1974), Gerhard Lenski expands on the works of Leslie White and Lewis Henry Morgan. He views the technological progress as the most basic factor in the evolution of societies and cultures. Unlike White, who defined technology as the ability to create and utilise energy, Lenski focuses on information—its amount and uses. The more information and knowledge (especially allowing the shaping of natural environment) a given society has, the more advanced it is. He distinguished four stages of human development, based on the advances in the history of communication. In the first stage, information is passed by genes. In the second, when humans gain sentience, they can learn and pass information through by experience. In the third, the humans start using signs and develop logic. In the fourth, they can create symbols and develop language and writing. Advancements in the technology of communication translates into advancements in the economic system and political system, distribution of goods, social inequality and other spheres of social life. He also differentiates societies based on their level of technology, communication and economy: (1) hunters and gatherers, (2) simple agricultural, (3) advanced agricultural, (4) industrial, and (5) special (like fishing societies). Gerhard Emmanuel Lenski (born August 13, 1924) is an American sociologist known for contributions to the sociology of religion, social inequality, and ecological-evolutionary social theory (which is related to cultural evolution). ... Leslie Alvin White ([19 January [1900]], Salida Colorado -- 31 March 1975) was an anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution and his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... Origins of theory According to Czech philosopher Radovan Richta, in his 1967 publication “Man and Technology in the Revolution of Our Day”, technology (which he defines as “a material entity created by the application of mental and physical effort to nature in order to achieve some value... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... The history of communication dates back to the earliest signs of life. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with sapience. ... Learned redirects here. ... Look up signs in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... “Write” redirects here. ... An economic system is a particular set of social institutions which deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a particular society. ... A political system is a system of politics and government. ... Good. ...


Talcott Parsons, author of Societies: Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives (1966) and The System of Modern Societies (1971) divided evolution into four subprocesses: (1) division, which creates functional subsystems from the main system; (2) adaptation, where those systems evolve into more efficient versions; (3) inclusion of elements previously excluded from the given systems; and (4) generalization of values, increasing the legitimization of the ever more complex system. He shows those processes on 3 stages of evolution: (1) primitive, (2) archaic and (3) modern. Archaic societies have the knowledge of writing, while modern have the knowledge of law. Parsons viewed the Western civilization as the pinnacle of modern societies, and out of all western cultures he declared United States as the most dynamic developed. Talcott Parsons Talcott Edgar Frederick Parsons (December 13, 1902–May 8, 1979) was for many years the best-known sociologist in the United States, and indeed one of the best-known in the world. ... “Write” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ...


Sociobiology

Main article: Sociobiology

Sociobiology departs perhaps the furthest from the classical social evolutionism. It was introduced by Edward Wilson in his 1975 book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis and followed his adaptation of biological theory neo-Darwinism to the field of social sciences. Wilson pioneered the attempt to explain the evolutionary mechanics behind social behaviours such as altruism, aggression, and nurturance. In doing so, Wilson sparked one of the greatest scientific controversies of the 20th century. This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... There have been at least two notable people called Edward Wilson. ... Sociobiology: The New Synthesis was a 1975 book by E. O. Wilson. ... The modern evolutionary synthesis (often referred to simply as the modern synthesis), neo-Darwinian synthesis or neo-Darwinism, brings together Charles Darwins theory of the evolution of species by natural selection with Gregor Mendels theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance. ... For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ... For the Wikipedia policy regarding controversial issues in articles, see Wikipedia:Guidelines for controversial articles. ...


Sociobiologists have argued for a dual inheritance theory, which posits that humans are products of both biological evolution and sociocultural evolution, each subject to their own selective mechanisms and forms of transmission (i.e. in the case of biology, genes, and cultural evolutionary units are often called memes). This approach focuses on both the mechanisms of cultural transmission and the selective pressures that influence cultural change. This version of sociocultural evolution shares little in common with the stadial evolutionary models of the early and mid-20th century. This approach has been embraced by many psychologists and some cultural anthropologists, but very few physical anthropologists. Dual inheritance theory, (or DIT), in sharp contrast to the notion that culture overrides biology, posits that humans are products of the interaction between biological evolution and cultural evolution. ... This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... Meme, (rhymes with cream and comes from Greek root with the meaning of memory and its derivative mimeme), is the term given to a unit of information that replicates from brains and inanimate stores of information, such as books and computers, to other brains or stores of information. ... Psychological science redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Physical anthropology, often called biological anthropology, studies the mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic inheritance, human adaptability and variation, primatology, primate morphology, and the fossil record of human evolution. ...


Neo-Darwinism, also known as the modern evolutionary synthesis, generally denotes the combination of Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of species by natural selection, Gregor Mendel's theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance and mathematical population genetics. Essentially, the modern synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) introduced the connection between two important discoveries; the units of evolution (genes) with the mechanism of evolution (selection). The modern evolutionary synthesis (often referred to simply as the modern synthesis), neo-Darwinian synthesis or neo-Darwinism, brings together Charles Darwins theory of the evolution of species by natural selection with Gregor Mendels theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... “Mendel” redirects here. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ...


Due to its close reliance on biology, sociobiology is often considered a branch of the biology and sociology disciplines, although it uses techniques from a plethora of sciences, including ethology, evolution, zoology, archaeology, population genetics, and many others. Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is closely related to the fields of human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... For the magazine about archaeology, see Archaeology (magazine). ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... A society is a group of people living or working together. ... Human behavioral ecology (HBE) or human evolutionary ecology applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavioral and cultural diversity. ... Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i. ...


Sociobiology has remained highly controversial as it contends genes play a role in human behaviour, although sociobiologists describe this role as a very complex and often unpredictable interaction between nature and nurture. The most notable critics of the view that genes play a direct role in human behaviour have been Franz Boas, Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould. This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... Franz Boas Franz Boas (July 9, 1858 – December 21, 1942[1]) was one of the pioneers of modern anthropology and is often called the Father of American Anthropology. Born in Germany, Boas worked for most of his life in North America. ... Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Dick Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. ... Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ...


Since the rise of Evolutionary psychology, another school of thought has emerged in the past 25 years that applies the mathematical standards of Population genetics to modeling the adaptive and selective principles of culture. This school of thought was pioneered by Robert Boyd and Peter Richardson at UCLA and expanded by William Wimsatt, among others. Boyd and Richardson's book "Culture and the Evolutionary Process" (1985)[1] was a highly mathematical description of cultural change, later published in a more accessible form in "Not by Genes Alone" (2004) [2]. In Boyd and Richardson's view, cultural evolution exists on a separate ground from biological evolution, and while the two are related, cultural evolution is more dynamic, rapid, and influential on human society than biological evolution. (Boyd, Robert & Richardson, Peter J. (1985), Culture and the Evolutionary Process, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-2260-6933-8.) Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... The University of California, Los Angeles (generally known as UCLA) is a public research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. ... William Wimsatt may refer to: William C. Wimsatt (21st century), philosophy teacher William Kurtz Wimsatt, Jr. ... The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the U.S. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of texts covering...


Theory of modernization

Main article: Modernization theory

Theories of modernization have been developed and popularized in 1950s and 1960s and are closely related to the dependency theory and development theory. It combines the previous theories of sociocultural evolution with practical experiences and empirical research, especially those from the era of decolonization. The theory states that: Modernization theory is a socio-economic theory, sometimes known as (or as being encompassed within) development theory, which highlights the positive role played by the developed world in modernizing and facilitating sustainable development in underdeveloped nations, often contrasted with dependency theory. ... Modernization (also Modernisation) is a concept in the sphere of social sciences that refers to process in which society goes through industrialization, urbanization and other social changes that completely transforms the lives of individuals. ... Main International Relations Theories Politics Portal This box:      Dependency theory is a body of social science theories, both from developed and developing nations, that create a worldview which suggests that poor underdeveloped states of the periphery are exploited by wealthy developed nations of the centre, in order to sustain economic... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Colonialism in 1945 Decolonization refers to the achievement of independence by the various Western colonies and protectorates in Asia and Africa following World War II. This conforms with an intellectual movement known as Post-Colonialism. ...

  • Western countries are the most developed, and rest of the world (mostly former colonies) are on the earlier stages of development, and will eventually reach the same level as the Western world.
  • Development stages go from the traditional societies to developed ones.
  • Third World countries have fallen behind with their social progress and need to be directed on their way to becoming more advanced.

Developing from classical social evolutionism theories, theory of modernization stresses the modernization factor: many societies are simply trying (or need to) emulate the most successful societies and cultures. It also states that it is possible to do so, thus supporting the concepts of social engineering and that the developed countries can and should help those less developed, directly or indirectly. For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... Social engineering has several meanings: Social engineering (political science) Social engineering (computer security) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Among the scientists who contributed much to this theory are Walt Rostow, who in his The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (1960) concentrates on the economic system side of the modernization, trying to show factors needed for a country to reach the path to modernization in his Rostovian take-off model. David Apter concentrated on the political system and history of democracy, researching the connection between democracy, good governance and efficiency and modernization. David McClelland (The Achieving Society, 1967) approached this subject from the psychological perspective, with his motivations theory, arguing that modernization cannot happen until given society values innovation, success and free enterprise. Alex Inkeles (Becoming Modern, 1974) similarly creates a model of modern personality, which needs to be independent, active, interested in public policies and cultural matters, open for new experiences, rational and being able to create long-term plans for the future. Some works of Jürgen Habermas are also connected with this subfield. Walt Whitman Rostow (also known as Walt Rostow or W.W. Rostow) (October 7, 1916 - February 13, 2003) was an American economist and political thinker prominent for his staunch opposition to Communism and belief in the efficacy of capitalism and free enterprise. ... An economic system is a particular set of social institutions which deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a particular society. ... The Rostovian take-off model is one of the major historical models of economic growth. ... David Ernest Apter (born December 18, 1924) is an American political scientist. ... A political system is a system of politics and government. ... The history of democracy traces back from its origins in ancient world to its re-emergence and rise from the 17th century to the present day. ... David McClelland (1917-1998). ... Psychological science redirects here. ... Look up Motivation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Theory of modernization has been subject to some criticism similar to that levied on classical social evolutionism, especially for being too ethnocentric, one-sided and focused on the Western world and culture. Ethnocentrism (Greek ethnos nation + -centrism) is a set of beliefs or practices based on the view that ones own group is the center of everything. ...


Prediction for a stable cultural and social future

Cultural evolution follows punctuated equilibrium which Gould and Eldredge developed for biological evolution. Bloomfield[6][7] has written that human societies follow punctuated equilibrium which would mean first, a stable society, a transition resulting in a subsequent stable society with greater complexity. Using these guidelines, mankind has had a stable animal society, a transition to a stable tribal society, another transition to a stable peasant society and is currently in a transitional industrial society and if the man's previous changes are extended then mankind will have a future stable automated society. Punctuated equilibrium (or punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing species will show little to no evolutionary change throughout their history. ...


The status of a human society rests on the productivity of food production. Deevey[8] reported on the growth of the number of humans. Deevey also reported on the productivity of food production, noting that productivity changes very little for stable societies, but increases during transitions. When productivity and especially food productivity can no longer be increased, Bloomfield has proposed that man will have achieved a stable automated society. The automated society is expected to have a space component where it may be possible for man to have a species change. Space is also assumed to allow for the continued growth of the human population, as well as provide a solution to the current pollution problem by providing limitless energy from solar satellite power stations.


Theory of postindustrial society

Scientists have used the theory of evolution to analyze various trends and to predict the future development of societies. These scientists have created the theories of postindustrial societies, arguing that the current era of industrial society is coming to an end, and services and information are becoming more important than industry and goods. A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ... A post-industrial society is a society in which an economic transition has occurred from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy, a diffusion of national and global capital, and mass privatization. ... In sociology, industrial society refers to a society with a modern societal structure. ... This article is about a term used in economics. ... A good in economics is any physical object (natural or man-made) or service that, upon consumption, increases utility, and therefore can be sold at a price in a market. ...


In 1974 Daniel Bell, author of The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, introduced the concept of postindustrial society. Like many more classical evolutionists, he divided the history of humanity into three eras: pre-industrial, industrial and postindustrial. He predicted that by the end of the 20th century, United States, Japan and Western Europe would reach the postindustrial stage. This would be visible by: Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Daniel Bell Daniel Bell (born 10 May 1919) is a sociologist and professor emeritus at Harvard University. ... A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ...

From the 1970s many other sociologist and anthropologists, like Alvin Toffler (Future Shock, 1970), and John Naisbitt (Megatrends 2000: The New Directions for the 1990s, 1982) have followed in Bell's footsteps and created similar theories. John Naisbitt introduced the concept of megatrends: a powerful, global trends that are changing societies on the worldwide scale. Among those megatrends he mentions the process of globalization. Another important megatrend was the increase in performance of computers and the development of the World Wide Web. Marshall McLuhan introduced the concept of global village (The Gutenberg Galaxy, 1962), and this term was soon adapted by the researchers of globalization and the Internet. Naisbitt and many other proponents of the theory of postindustrial societies argues that those megatrends lead to decentralization, weakening of the central government, increasing importance of local initiatives and direct democracy, changes in the hierarchy of the traditional social classes, development of new social movements and increased powers of consumers and number of choices available to them (Toffler even used the term "overchoice"). The tertiary sector of industry, also called the service sector or the service industry, is one of the three main industrial categories of a developed economy, the others being the secondary industry (manufacturing and primary goods production such as agriculture), and primary industry (extraction such as mining and fishing). ... The secondary sector of industry is the manufacturing sector of industry. ... The primary sector of industry generally involves the conversion of natural resources into primary products. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... Information and communication technology spending in 2005 Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century. ... Alvin Toffler Alvin Toffler (born October 3, 1928) is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communications revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity. ... Future Shock is a controversial book written by the sociologist and futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1970. ... John Naisbitt (born Jan. ... The Megatrend University of Applied Sciences (Serbian: Мегатренд универзитет примењених наука) is a university located in Belgrade, Serbia. ... A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ... “McLuhan” redirects here. ... Global village is a term coined by Wyndham Lewis in his book America and Cosmic Man (1948). ... The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (University of Toronto Press) is a 1962 book by Marshall McLuhan. ... Decentralization is the process of dispersing decision-making closer to the point of service or action. ... Central government or the national government (or, in federal states, the federal government) is the government at the level of the nation-state. ... Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy,[1] comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. ... American Civil Rights Movement is one of the most famous social movements of the 20th century. ...

Logarithmic plot showing exponential shortening trend in evolution of humanity, basis for the technological singularity theory.

Some of the more extreme visions of the postindustrial society are those related to the theory of the technological singularity. This theory refers to a predicted point or period in the development of a civilization at which due to the acceleration of technological progress, the societal, scientific and economic change is so rapid that nothing beyond that time can be reliably comprehended, understood or predicted by the pre-Singularity humans. Such a singularity was first discussed in the 1950s, and vastly popularized in the 1980s by Vernor Vinge. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1177x904, 160 KB) Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1177x904, 160 KB) Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. ... Logarithms to various bases: is to base e, is to base 10, and is to base 1. ... A quantity is said to be subject to exponential decay if it decreases at a rate proportional to its value. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... A prediction is a statement or claim that a particular event will occur in the future in more certain terms than a forecast. ... Origins of theory According to Czech philosopher Radovan Richta, in his 1967 publication “Man and Technology in the Revolution of Our Day”, technology (which he defines as “a material entity created by the application of mental and physical effort to nature in order to achieve some value... This article is about modern humans. ... Vernor Steffen Vinge (IPA: ) (born February 10, 1944) is a mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction author who is best known for his Hugo award-winning novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, as well as for his 1993 essay The Technological Singularity, in which...


Critics of the postindustrial society theory point out that it is very vague and as any prediction, there is no guarantee that any of the trends visible today will in fact exist in the future or develop in the directions predicted by contemporary researchers. However, no serious sociologist would argue it is possible to predict the future, but only that such theories allow us to gain a better understanding of the changes taking place in the modernised world.


Contemporary discource over sociocultural evolution

The Cold War period was marked by rivalry between two superpowers, both of which considered themselves to be the most highly evolved cultures on the planet. The USSR painted itself as a socialist society which emerged out of class struggle, destined to reach the state of communism, while sociologists in the United States (such as Talcott Parsons) argued that the freedom and prosperity of the United States were a proof of a higher level of sociocultural evolution of its culture and society. At the same time, decolonization created newly independent countries who sought to become more developed—a model of progress and industrialization which was itself a form of sociocultural evolution. For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. ... The South African Police Crush Another Demonstration by the Shack dwellers Movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, 28 September, 2007 Class struggle is the active expression of class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Talcott Parsons Talcott Edgar Frederick Parsons (December 13, 1902–May 8, 1979) was for many years the best-known sociologist in the United States, and indeed one of the best-known in the world. ... Colonialism in 1945 Decolonization refers to the achievement of independence by the various Western colonies and protectorates in Asia and Africa following World War II. This conforms with an intellectual movement known as Post-Colonialism. ...


There is, however, a tradition in European social theory from Rousseau to Max Weber that argues that this progression coincides with a loss of human freedom and dignity. At the height of the Cold War, this tradition merged with an interest in ecology to influence an activist culture in the 1960s. This movement produced a variety of political and philosophical programs which emphasised the importance of bringing society and the environment into harmony. Current political theories of the new tribalists consciously mimic ecology and the life-ways of indigenous peoples, augmenting them with modern sciences. Ecoregional Democracy attempts to confine the "shifting groups", or tribes, within "more or less clear boundaries" that a society inherits from the surrounding ecology, to the borders of a naturally occurring ecoregion. Progress can proceed by competition between but not within tribes, and it is limited by ecological borders or by Natural Capitalism incentives which attempt to mimic the pressure of natural selection on a human society by forcing it to adapt consciously to scarce energy or materials. Gaians argue that societies evolve deterministically to play a role in the ecology of their biosphere, or else die off as failures due to competition from more efficient societies exploiting nature's leverage. Social theory refers to the use of abstract and often complex theoretical frameworks to explain and analyze social patterns and large-scale social structures. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Genevan philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. ... For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... Eco-village network of the Americas The Ishmael Community The Tribal Revival Categories: | | ... The term indigenous people has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ... Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of Electoral Reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent body and environment concerns, e. ... http://www. ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... Natural capitalism is a set of trends and economic reforms to reward energy and material efficiency - and remove professional standards and accounting conventions that prevent such efficiencies. ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... A Gaian is a radical Green who views the ecology of the Earths biosphere not only as the basis of human moral examples, but of all cognition and even sentience. ... For other uses, see Biosphere (disambiguation). ...


Thus, some have appealed to theories of sociocultural evolution to assert that optimising the ecology and the social harmony of closely knit groups is more desirable or necessary than the progression to "civilization." A 2002 poll of experts on Nearctic and Neotropic indigenous peoples (reported in Harper's magazine) revealed that all of them would have preferred to be a typical New World person in the year 1491, prior to any European contact, rather than a typical European of that time. The Nearctic is one of the eight terrestrial ecozones dividing the Earths land surface. ... The Neotropic ecozone is a terrestrial ecoregion which includes South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. ... The term indigenous people has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ...


This approach has been criticised by pointing out that there are a number of historical examples of indigenous peoples doing severe environmental damage (such as the deforestation of Easter Island and the extinction of mammoths in North America) and that proponents of the goal have been trapped by the European stereotype of the noble savage. This article is about the process of deforestation in the environment. ... “Rapa Nui” redirects here. ... This article is about the genus Mammuthus. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... A section of Benjamin Wests The Death of General Wolfe; Wests depiction of this Native American has been considered an idealization in the tradition of the Noble savage (Fryd, 75) In the 18th century culture of Primitivism the noble savage, uncorrupted by the influences of civilization was considered...


Today, postmodernists question whether the notions of evolution or society have inherent meaning and whether they reveal more about the person doing the description than the thing being described. Observing and observed cultures may lack sufficient cultural similarities (such as a common foundation ontology) to be able to communicate their respective priorities easily. Or, one may impose such a system of belief and judgment upon another, via conquest or colonization. For instance, observation of very different ideas of mathematics and physics in indigenous peoples led indirectly to ideas such as George Lakoff's "cognitive science of mathematics", which asks if measurement systems themselves can be objective. Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... In philosophy of mathematics, a foundation ontology is an ontology in the formal philosophical sense that is deemed to play a role in the foundations of mathematics. ... The right of conquest is the purported right of a conqueror to territory taken by force of arms. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Colonialism. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... The term indigenous people has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The cognitive science of mathematics is the study of mathematical ideas using the techniques of cognitive science. ...


See also

Cover of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order The Clash of Civilizations is a theory, proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, that peoples cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. ... There is a general consensus among mainstream anthropologists that humans first emerged in Africa about two million years ago. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... The study of the diffusion of innovation is the study of how, why, and at what rate new ideas spread through cultures. ... Dual inheritance theory, (or DIT), in sharp contrast to the notion that culture overrides biology, posits that humans are products of the interaction between biological evolution and cultural evolution. ... When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels created the ideology of Communism, many Marxists believe they inductively surmised what they saw as a law of history, an inexorable law, that ran throughout the course of history. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at UCLA. In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. ... For historicism as a method of interpreting biblical apocalypse, see Historicism (Christian eschatology). ... Insititutional Memory is episode 153 of The West Wing. ... Memetics is an approach to evolutionary models of information transfer based on the concept of the meme. ... Punctuated equilibrium (or punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing species will show little to no evolutionary change throughout their history. ... Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a societys fundamental economic relations and political structures. ... Social dynamics means the ability of a society to react to inner and outer changes and deals with its regulation mechanisms. ... According to evolutionary biology, human beings are animals and have an evolutionary history by which we are genetically related to other species. ... Social cycle theories are one of the earliest social theories in sociology. ...

Notes

  1. ^ "The Philosophy Of Positivism". Adventures in Philosophy.
  2. ^ "Herbert Spencer". Sociological Theorists Page.
  3. ^ Morgan, Lewis H.(1877) "Chapter III: Ratio of Human Progress". Ancient Society.
  4. ^ Evolution and culture. Ed. by Marshall David Sahlins and Elman Service. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1960.
  5. ^ The Evolution of Culture, Leslie White
  6. ^ Bloomfield, Masse.Mankind in Transitio, Masefield Books, 1993.
  7. ^ Bloomfield, Masse.The Automated Societ, Masefield Books, 1995.
  8. ^ Deevey, E. S., The Human Population, Scientific American 203, September 1960, p.226.

References

  • Sztompka, Piotr, Socjologia, Znak, 2002, ISBN 83-240-0218-9
  • The Philosophy Of Positivism accessed on 7 August 2005
  • Herbert Spencer accessed on 7 August 2005
  • Chapter III: Ratio of Human Progress accessed on 7 August 2005
  • Marshall David Sahlins, Evolution and culture, University of Michigan Press, 1970
  • Leslie White, The Evolution of Culture; The Development of Civilization to the Fall of Rome, Mcgraw-Hill, 1959, ISBN 0-07-069682-9

Piotr Sztompka is a Polish sociologist. ... Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Leslie Alvin White ([19 January [1900]], Salida Colorado -- 31 March 1975) was an anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution and his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. ...

Further reading

  • Sztompka, Piotr, The Sociology of Social Change, Blackwell Publishers, 1994, ISBN 0-631-18206-3
  • Trigger, Bruce, Sociocultural Evolution: Calculation and Contingency (New Perspectives on the Past), Blackwell Publishers, 1998, ISBN 1-55786-977-4
  • Stocking, George, Victorian Anthropology, Free Press, 1991, ISBN 0-02-931551-4
  • Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward, A History of Anthropological Thought, 1981, Basic Books, Inc., New York.
  • Graber, Robert B., A Scientific Model of Social and Cultural Evolution, 1995, Thomas Jefferson University Press, Kirksville, MO.
  • Harris, Marvin, The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture, 1968, Thomas Y. Crowell, New York.
  • Hatch, Elvin, Theories of Man and Culture, 1973, Columbia University Press, New York.
  • Hays, H. R., From Ape to Angel: An Informal History of Social Anthropology, 1965, Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
  • Johnson, Allen W. and Earle, Timothy, The Evolution of Human Societies: From Foraging Group to Agrarian State, 1987, Stanford University Press.
  • Kaplan, David and Manners, Robert, Culture Theory, 1972, Waveland Press, Inc., Prospect Heights, Illinois.
  • Kuklick, Henrika, The Savage Within: The Social History of British Anthropology, 1885–1945, 1991, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Mesoudi, A. (2007). Using the methods of experimental social psychology to study cultural evolution. Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology, 1(2), 35–58. Full text
  • Raoul Naroll and William T. Divale. 1976. Natural Selection in Cultural Evolution: Warfare versus Peaceful Diffusion. American Ethnologist 3: 97–128.
  • Segal, Daniel (2000) Western Civ" and the Staging of History in American Higher Education The American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 3 (Jun., 2000), pp. 770-805 doi:10.2307/2651809
  • Seymour-Smith, Charlotte, Macmillan Dictionary of Anthropology, 1986, Macmillan, New York.
  • Stocking Jr., George W., Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology, 1968, The Free Press, New York.
  • Stocking Jr., George W., After Tylor: British Social Anthropology 1888–1951, 1995, The University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Winthrop, Robert H., Dictionary of Concepts in Cultural Anthropology, 1991, Greenwood Press, New York.
  • Alternatives of Social Evolution, 2000, FEB RAS, Vladivostok.
  • John Henry Morgan, In the Beginning: The Paleolithic Origins of Religious Consciousness 2007 Cloverdale Books, South Bend. ISBN 978-1-929569-41-0
  • Korotayev A., Malkov A., Khaltourina D. Introduction to Social Macrodynamics: Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends. Moscow: URSS, 2006. ISBN 5-484-00559-0 [3].

Piotr Sztompka is a Polish sociologist. ... Bruce Trigger is a Canadian archaeologist. ... George W. Stocking, Jr. ... Edward Evan (E.E.) Evans-Pritchard (September 21, 1902 - September 11, 1973) was a British anthropologist instrumental in the development of social anthropology in that country. ... Marvin Harris Marvin Harris (August 18, 1927 – October 25, 2001) was an American anthropologist. ... There are many people named David Kaplan. ... Raoul Naroll (September 10, 1920 – June 25, 1985) was an anthropologist who did much to promote the methodology of cross-cultural studies. ... The American Historical Review (AHR) is the official publication of the American Historical Association (AHA), a body of academics, professors, teachers, students, historians, curators and others, founded in 1884 for the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research. ... John H. Morgan, Ph. ... Cloverdale Corporation has for 29 years been involved in publishing scholarly research for the scientific community. ... Andrey Korotayev (born in 1961) is an anthropologist, economic historian, and sociologist. ...

Readings from an evolutionary anthropological perspective

  • Two special issues on the evolution of culture:
    • Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 57–108 (April 2003)
      • The evolution of culture: New perspectives and evidence (p 57–60) Charles H. Janson, Eric A. Smith Full text
      • Making space for traditions (p 61–70) Dorothy Fragaszy Full text
      • Traditions in monkeys (p 71–81) Susan Perry, Joseph H. Manson
      • Is culture a golden barrier between human and chimpanzee? (p 82–91) Christophe Boesch Full text
      • Cultural panthropology (p 92–105) Andrew Whiten, Victoria Horner, Sarah Marshall-Pescini
      • The fossil record - Human and nonhuman (p 106–108) Eric Delson Full text
    • Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 109–159 (2003)
      • On stony ground: Lithic technology, human evolution, and the emergence of culture (p 109–122) Robert Foley, Marta Mirazón Lahr Full text
      • The evolution of cultural evolution (p 123–135) Joseph Henrich, Richard McElreath Full text
      • The adaptive nature of culture (p 136–149) Michael S. Alvard Full text
      • Do animals have culture? (p 150–159) Kevin N. Laland, William Hoppitt Full text

External links

  • Evolution and Culture The Missing Link
  • Introduction to Social Evolutionism at the University of Alabama
  • Sociocultural evolution on Principia Cybernetica Web
  • Comte and the philosophy of positivism
  • Lewis Morgan 'Ancient Societies' online see Chapter 03 for his savagery/barbarism/civilisation theory
  • Classical Sociological Theory: Comte and Spencer
  • Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends

Modern evolutionists

  • Homepage of Robert L. Carneiro, American Museum of Natural History
  • Homepage of Robert B. Graber, Truman State University
  • Homepage of Khaled Hakami, University of Vienna

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sociocultural evolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6960 words)
Early sociocultural evolution theories—the theories of August Comte, Herbert Spencer and Lewis Henry Morgan—developed simultaneously but independently of Charles Darwin's works and were popular from the late 19th century to the end of World War I.
Some forms of early sociocultural evolution theories (mainly unilineal ones) have led to much criticised theories like social Darwinism, and scientific racism, used in the past to justify existing policies of colonialism and slavery, and to justify new policies such as eugenics.
Sociocultural evolutionism was the prevailing theory of early sociocultural anthropology and social commentary, and is associated with scholars like August Comte, Edward Burnett Tylor, Lewis Henry Morgan, Benjamin Kidd, L.T. Hobhouse and Herbert Spencer.
Evolution (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (222 words)
Theistic evolution, the belief that religious teachings are compatible with the theory of evolution
Higher evolution, a spiritual concept concerning the evolution of human consciousness
Pokémon evolution, a significant change in a Pokémon's form after sufficient experience is gained
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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