The Evolution of Culture: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CIVILIZATION TO THE FALL OF ROME
One of the major works of twentieth-century anthropological theory, written by one of the discipline’s most important, complex, and controversial figures, has not been in print for several years. Now Evolution of Culture is again available in paperback, allowing today’s generation of anthropologists new access to Leslie White’s crucial contribution to the theory of cultural evolution. A new, substantial introduction by Robert Carneiro and Burton J. Brown assess White’s historical importance and continuing influence in the discipline. White is credited with reintroducing evolution in a way that had a profound impact on our understanding of the relationship between technology, ecology, and culture in the development of civilizations. A materialist, he was particularly concerned with societies’ ability to harness energy as an indicator of progress, and his empirical analysis of this equation covers a vast historical span. Fearlessly tackling the most fundamental questions of culture and society during the cold war, White was frequently a lightning rod both inside and outside the academy. His book will provoke equally potent debates today, and is a key component of any course or reading list in anthropological or archaeological theory and cultural ecology.
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A. R. Radcliffe-Brown Agricultural Revolution ambilateral ancient Egypt animals anthropoid Anthropology Arunta basis become behavior biological brother civil society clan course cross-cousin cultural development cultural evolution cultural evolutionism cultural systems custom determined distinguished division of labor economic system effective endogamy energy ethical etiquette example exogamy exogamy and endogamy expression factors father Franz Boas function habitat human labor human social human society incest increase individuals institutions integration Kariera kind kinship systems lineages living male marry mates means medium of exchange merely moieties mother mutual aid nature parallel cousins patrilineal person philosophy plants political preliterate priests primate primitive cultures primitive society produced relations relationship relatives ritual rules of exogamy segments sexual shaman siblings significant slaves social evolution social organization social systems sociocultural systems solidarity species structure subsistence technological tend theory things tion tribal tribe unit whole