Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History (Fourth by R. Jon McGee
By R. Jon McGee
A complete and available survey of the background of thought in anthropology, this anthology of vintage and modern readings includes in-depth remark in introductions and notes to assist consultant scholars via excerpts of seminal anthropological works. The statement presents the historical past details had to comprehend each one article, its principal recommendations, and its courting to the social and historic context during which it used to be written. Six of the forty five articles are new to this variation.
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Additional info for Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History (Fourth Edition)
If, after contemplating these analogies of structure, we inquire whether there are any such analogies between causes and processes of organic growth, the answer i s - y e s . The causes which lead to the increase of bulk in any part of the body politic, are strictly analogous to those which lead to increase of hulk in any part of an individual body. In both cases the antecedent is greater functional activity consequent on greater demand. Each limb, viscus, gland, or other member of an The Social Organism, Herbert Spencer 21 animal, is developed by e x e r c i s e - b y actively discharging the duties which the body at large re-quires of it; and similarly, any class of laborers or artisans, any manufacturing center, or any official agency, begins to enlarge when the community devolves upon it an increase of work.
The effect of combining the technical language of biology with the rather simple vocabulary of soc ie ty is to ma ke S pe n ce r 's c o mme n ts o n so c ie ty see m much more scientifically compelling than they actually are. Of course, in a modern sense, Spencer's argument is simply an argument by analogy and is not scientific at all. It is neither an attempt to explore and describe the range of h u ma n so c ia l o r ga n iza tio n n or a se t o f co n c lu sio n s based on controlled experimentation.
Just as more advanced plants and animals show some specialization of function, more advanced societies show evidence of social structure. Beyond sexual division of labor, government is the first structure to emerge. However, as in lower plants, specialization remains imprecise. Cells can change function and a society's leaders may also do other jobs. The next phase is the spread of similar biological or social units across the landscape. Physical barriers may cause such social units to coalesce into nations.