Search icone
Search and publish your papers

Eisler’s “Cultural evolution” and evolutionary theory

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author

General public

About the document

Published date
documents in English
7 pages
General public
0 times
Validated by
0 Comment
Rate this document
  1. Introduction.
  2. Dena Dincauze's defination of archaeology and its branch of environmental archaeology.
  3. Understanding Eisler's theory of cultural evolution within the context of environmental archaeology.
  4. Eisler's moves to describe a shift in cultural values.
  5. Eisler's ?Cultural Transformation Theory?.
  6. The culture vs. environment debate in environmental archaeology.

Riane Eisler's ?The Chalice and the Blade?, published in 1988, presents a new theory of human cultural evolution, as well as a new vision of reconstructed history. Eisler draws from archaeological discoveries made in the latter half of the 20th century, as well as from mythology and contemporary feminist re-interpretations of earlier archaeological discoveries and mythology. She develops an idea of cultural evolution based on the ?chaos theory?, which provides the rubric for her understanding of systems change. She calls her idea ?Cultural Transformation Theory?. It is based in basic biological principles and presents ideas about the ways in which humans have interacted with their environment over time. Her study is an interesting one for environmental archaeology as a science because it challenges the prevailing cultural theories in the field.

[...] This ?gender inequality? theory, which is as much a theory about dominance and power as it is one about methods of social organization, is primarily sociological, though Eisler states that the basic sexual dimorphism in humans is what allowed males, physically stronger half of humanity? to dominate (Eisler 92). Environmental archaeology, being interdisciplinary, and in principle as closely affiliated to the social sciences as the physical sciences, cannot justifiably reject qualitative evidence. The incorporation of more studies like Eisler's could provide the field with a deeper understanding of cultural, and by extension, historical change against which to compare findings. [...]

[...] One of the main critiques of cultural evolution put forth by Eisler and other social scientists putting forth a more ?feminist? theory of cultural change is of the idea that cultural evolution is a linear process. In her introduction, Eisler states that in the sciences the term evolution is often used in two different ways. The normative use indicates a movement from lower to higher levels, whereas in a non-normative, historical sense, it is used to mean the ?biological, and, by extension, cultural history of living species?. [...]

[...] of prehistoric society from its beginnings up to the civilized period Their twentieth-century successors, however, rejected the evolutionary method and changed the definition and goal of anthropology. Separate studies of diverse primitive cultures and peoples became an end in themselves, without reference to the clues they provided for reconstructing a connected chain of human development from one social level to the next (Reed This shift in method of inquiry in the historical sciences corresponds with what Dincauze calls period of methodological self-consciousness", in which the discipline of archaeology "tried to achieve scientific standards comparable to those of the quantitative physical sciences". [...]

Top sold for modern history

Critical analysis of the letter collection of Einhard

 History & geography   |  Modern history   |  Presentation   |  09/29/2010   |   .doc   |   4 pages

The early decade of the 18th century

 History & geography   |  Modern history   |  Course material   |  01/09/2019   |   .doc   |   4 pages

Recent documents in modern history category

Women in Victorian era

 History & geography   |  Modern history   |  Presentation   |  05/03/2019   |   .doc   |   9 pages

Ida B. Wells and lynching in the U.S.

 History & geography   |  Modern history   |  Presentation   |  01/21/2019   |   .doc   |   7 pages