Cultural considerations

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Cultural considerations

Introduction[ edit ] Cultural considerations and sociologists often assume that human beings have natural social tendencies and that particular human Cultural considerations behaviours have non- genetic causes and dynamics i. Societies exist in complex social environments i.

It is thus inevitable that all societies change. Specific theories of social or cultural evolution often attempt to explain differences between coeval societies by positing that different societies have reached different stages of development.

Although such theories typically provide models for understanding the relationship between technologiessocial structure or the values of a society, they vary as to the extent to which they describe specific mechanisms Cultural considerations variation and change.

These 19th-century unilineal evolution theories claimed that societies start out in a primitive state and gradually become more civilized over time; they 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 racismsometimes used in the past[ by whom? Most 19th-century and some 20th-century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a single entity.

However, most 20th-century approaches, such as multilineal evolutionfocused on changes specific to individual societies. Moreover, they rejected directional change i. Most archaeologists work within the framework of multilineal evolution.

Other contemporary approaches to social change include neoevolutionismsociobiologydual inheritance theorymodernisation theory and postindustrial theory. In his seminal book The Selfish GeneRichard Dawkins wrote that "there are some examples of cultural evolution in birds and monkeys, but While expecting humankind to show increasing development, theorists looked for what determined the course of human history.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel —for example, saw social development as an inevitable process. While earlier authors such as Michel de Montaigne — had discussed how societies change through time, the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century proved key in the development of the idea of sociocultural evolution.

They understood the changes Scotland was undergoing as involving transition from an agricultural to a mercantile society. In "conjectural histories"authors such as Adam Ferguson —John Millar — and Adam Smith — argued that societies all pass through a series of four stages: Auguste Comte — Philosophical concepts of progresssuch as that of Hegel, developed as well during this period.

Later thinkers such as Comte de Saint-Simon — developed these ideas. These developments took place in a context of wider processes.

The first process was colonialism. Although imperial powers settled most differences of opinion with their colonial subjects through force, increased awareness of non-Western peoples raised new questions for European scholars about the nature of society and of culture. Similarly, effective colonial 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: Modern civilization understood as the Western civilizationappeared the result of steady progress from a state of barbarism, and such a notion was common to many thinkers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire — The second process was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalismwhich together allowed and promoted continual revolutions in the means of production.

Emerging theories of sociocultural evolution reflected a belief that the changes in Europe brought by the Industrial Revolution and capitalism were improvements. Industrialisation, combined with the intense political change brought about by the French Revolution of and the U.

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Constitutionwhich paved the way for the dominance of democracyforced European thinkers to reconsider some of their assumptions about how society was organised. Eventually, in the 19th century three major classical theories of social and historical change emerged: These theories had a common factor: Thus, each past event is not only chronologically, but causally tied to present and future events.

The theories postulated that by recreating the sequence of those events, sociology could discover the "laws" of history. Unilineal evolution While sociocultural evolutionists agree that an evolution-like process leads to social progress, classical social evolutionists have developed many different theories, known as theories of unilineal evolution.

Cultural considerations

Sociocultural evolutionism became the prevailing theory of early sociocultural anthropology and social commentaryand is associated with scholars like Auguste ComteEdward Burnett TylorLewis Henry MorganBenjamin KiddL.

Hobhouse and Herbert Spencer. Sociocultural evolutionism attempted to formalise social thinking along scientific lines, with the added influence from the biological theory of evolution.

If organisms could develop over time according to discernible, deterministic laws, then it seemed reasonable that societies could as well.

Cultural considerations

Human society was compared to a biological organism, and social science equivalents of concepts like variationnatural selectionand inheritance were introduced as factors resulting in the progress of societies.The Hammond Public Library Foundation encourages the development and improvement of the Hammond Public Library.

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The general terms "high context" and "low context" (popularized by Edward Hall) are used to describe broad-brush cultural differences between societies.

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ABSTRACT. The adaptation of psychological instruments is a complex process that requires a high methodological rigor. Because there is no consensus in the literature about its steps, this article discuss some essential aspects regarding the cross-cultural adaptation of psychological instruments and proposes guidelines to the researchers about the different steps of this process.

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