Give us Feedback!
Set the category for this topic
Arts & Culture
Biology & Nature
Business & Companies
Food & Drink
Geography & Travel
Health & Medicine
History & Events
Religion & Philosophy
Society & Politics
Technology & Computing
Transportation & Vehicles
- Created 2012-02-15
is the branch of comparative
(not to be confused with
) that seeks to define the
In the 19th century, "
" was used by some to refer to a wide array of
activities, and by others as a synonym for "
". In the 20th century,
began theorizing about culture as an object of scientific analysis. Some used it to distinguish human
from the largely
ive adaptive strategies of
s, including the adaptive strategies of other
s and non-human
s, whereas others used it to refer to symbolic
and expressions of human experience, with no direct adaptive value. Both groups understood culture as being definitive of
According to many
that have gained wide acceptance among anthropologists, culture exhibits the way that humans interpret their
. According to this point of view, culture becomes such an integral part of human existence that it
the human environment, and most cultural
can be attributed to human adaptation to
. Moreover, given that culture is seen as the primary adaptive mechanism of humans and takes place much faster than
human biological evolution
, most cultural change can be viewed as culture adapting to itself.
Although most anthropologists try to define culture in such a way that it separates human beings from other animals, many human traits are similar to those of other animals, particularly the traits of other primates. For example,
s have big
s, but human brains are bigger. Similarly,
s exhibit complex
, but human beings exhibit much more complex
. As such, anthropologists often debate whether
is different from
in degree rather than in kind; they must also find ways to distinguish cultural behaviour from sociological behaviour and
Acceleration and amplification of these various aspects of culture change have been explored by complexity economist,
W. Brian Arthur
. In his book,
The Nature of Technology
, Arthur attempts to articulate a theory of change that considers that existing technologies (or material culture) are combined in unique ways that lead to novel new technologies. Behind that novel combination is a purposeful effort arising in human motivation. This articulation would suggest that we are just beginning to understand what might be required for a more robust theory of culture and culture change, one that brings coherence across many disciplines and reflects an integrating elegance.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 21 May), licensed under
What do you know about this topic?
Please make sure to only add personal information and experiences about this topic that complements the article above. Comments or opinions should be posted at the bottom of the page by clicking
. Thanks alot for contributing!
...or create an Experience Page
Currently no applications. Add an application using the contribute box to the right.
Let People Vote
Ask a Question
W. Brian Arthur
Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School
Popular culture studies
Dual inheritance theory
Add new image
Add image by copy and paste a link:
Add external link
Links to external pages
Add related topic
Links to related topics
Copyright 2011 © Empedia.com BETA
Forgot your password?