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Cultural Selection - Agner Fog

Cultural Selection

By: Agner Fog

Hardcover Published: 28th February 1999
ISBN: 9780792355793
Number Of Pages: 320

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Provides an interdisciplinary theory that challenges traditional sociology by its superior ability to explain the irrational or unplanned aspects of culture, and it reveals that our society is not as rational as we would like to believe. The reader receives a comprehensive overview of cultural selection theory, including the history of the theory and the many different schools of thought, as well as an explanation of the nuts and bolts of cultural selection and the different selection mechanisms. Furthermore, the author introduces the new paradigm-breaking cultural r/k theory - a theory which reveals causal connections between religion, politics, ethics, art, and sexual behaviour - and which can explain such diverse phenomena as the fall of Rome, the advent of rock music in the late Soviet Union, and the anti-pornography movement in contemporary USA. The attraction of this theory lies in its impressive explanatory power and its usefulness for making predictions. This book maintains a down-to-earth theory with the main focus on the explanation of real world phenomena, including religion, politics, music, art, architecture, clothing fashion, sexual behavior, sport, and play. It thereby provides a foundation on which to base further research in many areas of human culture, including anthropology, archaeology, political and religious history, art, social psychology, sexology, peace research and futurology.

Introductionp. 9
The History of Cultural Selection Theoryp. 13
Evolutionismp. 13
Social darwinismp. 22
Functionalismp. 24
Neo-evolutionismp. 25
Diffusionismp. 30
Sociobiologyp. 33
Interaction between genetic and cultural selectionp. 36
Memeticsp. 41
Sociology and anthropologyp. 45
Synthesis of sociobiology and anthropologyp. 47
Social psychologyp. 49
Economic competitionp. 50
Universal selection theoryp. 52
Conclusionp. 55
Fundamental Model for Cultural Selectionp. 59
The genetic basis of culturep. 59
Cultural selectionp. 60
Unit of selectionp. 62
Innovationp. 65
Reproductionp. 67
Selectionp. 69
Selection of meme complexesp. 73
Vicarious selectionp. 74
Barriers in evolutionp. 75
Differences between genetic and cultural selectionp. 78
Cultural selection in animalsp. 79
The applicability of cultural selection theoryp. 80
Further Development of the Modelp. 83
The concept of fitnessp. 83
Genetic selection modelsp. 85
Genetic r- and K-selectionp. 88
Cultural selection modelsp. 90
Cultural r- and k-selectionp. 91
Mechanisms in cultural r/k-selectionp. 94
Vicarious psychological mechanismsp. 96
The paradox of revolutionp. 99
Typical characteristics of regal and kalyptic culturesp. 101
Limitations to the theoryp. 103
Previously published related theoriesp. 104
Conservativism versus innovativismp. 108
Cultural Selection Throughout the Timesp. 110
The evolution of ever bigger political unitsp. 110
The evolution of religionsp. 113
Animismp. 115
Polytheismp. 116
Monotheismp. 119
Oriental religionsp. 124
Religions are created by cultural evolutionp. 127
Secularizationp. 129
Imperialismp. 130
Modern societyp. 131
Migrationsp. 132
Economic competitionp. 134
Demographyp. 136
Social Organization Among Baboonsp. 139
Sociology of Deviancep. 143
The fight over defining realityp. 143
Defining reality in terms of sciencep. 145
Myth makingp. 146
Witch-hunts and moral panicsp. 149
The role of the mass mediap. 153
The objects of witch-huntsp. 154
Mass Mediap. 156
Advertising and sponsoringp. 166
The competition for attentionp. 167
Sexual Behaviorp. 169
Psychological mechanismsp. 174
Selection of discoursesp. 176
Social scriptsp. 177
Taboo and sacrednessp. 178
Artp. 189
The function of artp. 189
Styles and social stratificationp. 194
Visual artp. 195
Music and singingp. 200
Dancep. 209
Architecturep. 216
Clothingp. 218
Other artsp. 221
Play, Games and Sportp. 222
Playp. 222
Gamesp. 227
Sportp. 229
Comparison with other cultural phenomenap. 232
Discussion and Conclusionp. 235
Cultural r/k-selectionp. 236
Cultural transmission mediap. 239
The pleasure principlep. 241
Are we slaves of the culture?p. 242
Testability and sources of errorp. 244
Explanatory powerp. 249
The Futurep. 251
Security policyp. 252
Population policyp. 253
Immigration policyp. 254
Economic policyp. 255
Media policyp. 256
Disadvantages of kalypticityp. 257
Hazards by applying the r/k-theoryp. 259
Explanation of Wordsp. 261
Literaturep. 271
Keyword Indexp. 308
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792355793
ISBN-10: 0792355792
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 28th February 1999
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.15  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.68