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Darwinian Sociocultural Evolution
Solutions to Dilemmas in Cultural and Social Theory


  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521745956

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About the Authors
  • Social scientists can learn a lot from evolutionary biology - from systematics and principles of evolutionary ecology to theories of social interaction including competition, conflict and cooperation, as well as niche construction, complexity, eco-evo-devo, and the role of the individual in evolutionary processes. Darwinian sociocultural evolutionary theory applies the logic of Darwinism to social-learning based cultural and social change. With a multidisciplinary approach for graduate biologists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, social psychologists, archaeologists, linguists, economists, political scientists and science and technology specialists, the author presents this model of evolution drawing on a number of sophisticated aspects of biological evolutionary theory. The approach brings together a broad and inclusive theoretical framework for understanding the social sciences which addresses many of the dilemmas at their forefront - the relationship between history and necessity, conflict and cooperation, the ideal and the material and the problems of agency, subjectivity and the nature of social structure.

    • Shows relevance of Darwinism to the social sciences beyond traditional theories of sociobiology, providing a theoretical framework for future research
    • Draws on a broad base of biological theory (systematics, evolutionary ecology, social evolution etc.), showing how the model fits into all approaches
    • Compares the Darwinian sociocultural evolutionary paradigm and other theories in the social theory field to address major theoretical dilemmas present in the social sciences
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521745956
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. History: where did something come from?
    3. Necessity: why did it evolve?
    4. Competition, conflict and cooperation: why and how do they interact socially?
    5. The ideal and the material: the role of memes in evolutionary social science
    6. Micro and macro I: the problem of agency
    7. Micro and macro II: the problem of subjectivity
    8. Micro and macro III: the evolution of complexity and the problem of social structure
    9. Evolutionism: the old, the new and the future of the social sciences.

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    Darwinian Sociocultural Evolution

    Marion Blute

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  • Author

    Marion Blute, University of Toronto
    Marion Blute is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga where she teaches classical and contemporary theory and gene-culture coevolution to undergraduates. She also teaches contemporary theory in the university-wide graduate sociology programme. She has published in a wide variety of life and social science journals on evolutionary topics and has related interests in the philosophy and sociology of science. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Biological Theory and of the Editorial Board of Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science.

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