Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Julian Steward ( 1902-72)

Julian Steward ( 1902-72) a US cultural anthropologist influenced the development of evolutionary and ecological theory in modern cultural anthropology.His 'Levels of Sociocultural Integration' is a major theoretical contribution in the field of anthropology.


In the early years of anthropology it was considered that culture developed in a uniform and progressive manner.Most societies were considered to pass through the same series of stages and ultimately arrived at a common end.Changes in the pattern of culture were considered to be embedded  in the culture itself from the very beginning and so the ultimate development of a culture was considered to be internally determined.Julian Steward in his work maintained that evolutionary thought passed through three stages including unilinear,universal and multilinear.

Julian Steward was a multilinear evolutionist who dealt with the evolution of particular cultures only on the basis of demonstrated sequences of  parallel culture change in different areas.He explained specific cultural difference and similarities.He was one of the first anthropologists to highlight the influence of environment on culture and advocated analysis of the relationship between culture and its environment falling within the scope of cultural ecology.

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