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Darwinian Sociocultural Evolution
Solutions to Dilemmas in Cultural and Social Theory

$42.99 (P)

  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521745956

$ 42.99 (P)

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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. Please visit Marion Blute's blog at

    • 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: February 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: Available
  • 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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