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Anthro Lecture Notes (1-17-14)

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James Egan

Anthro 2A Notes – 1/17/14 I) Social Evolutionism A) Intro -“Survival of the fittest” -Charles Darwin, ‘Origin of Species’ – but he never actually said the exact phrase in his book; actually coined by social philosopher, Herbert Spencer (theory of social change over time – social Darwinism); natural competition of resources B) All evolutionary models share 3 assumptions: 1. Social forms change over time 2. Societies can be ranked from high to low on some criterion 3. Rank order is a historical progression (as a sequence of events in human culture history) II) Unilinear Social Evolutionism A) Lewis Henry Morgan – anthropologist in late 19 century (by this time, set of different intellects and branches of anthropology were emerging); alternative to scientific racism – saw unity of all humankind, all go back to a time of sameness but also diversity because of evolution B) Change leads to increased sociocultural complexity -Simple  Complex C) Evolutionary Stage Model 1. Cultural attributes evolved in a sequence 2. Typologize in 3 stages: -Savagery  Barbarism  Civilization 3. Each stage has its own social/cultural traits STAGE TECHNOLOGY MARRIAGE FORM Civilization Phonetic Alphabet Monogamy Barbarism Metallurgy Polygyny Agriculture Pottery Savagery Bow and arrow Group Marriage Fishing, fire Promiscuous Hordes D) Evolutionary Change is Unilinear (one line) -idea that only one universal evolutionary process that all societies go through – can’t skip stages -Laws governing cultural change -Sociocultural differences – if we all go through the same process of change, how will there be differences?
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