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: Cultural Evolution: The Empirical and Theoretical Landscape
: Kevin McCaffree
: Routledge
: 2022
: pdf
: 273
:10,4
: English

Cultural Evolution: The Empirical and Theoretical Landscape integrates work from diverse fields of science to construct an interdisciplinary theory illustrating how fusion-fission cycles actually constitute what we call "culture." When people perceive threats in their environment that seem too complicated to understand, they express more deference, loyalty and submissiveness to group authorities who promise protection. Conversely, as the perception of threat recedes (or as problems appear increasingly tractable) people express more individuality, personal creativity and desires for autonomy. This dynamic will be revealed as a universal fractal process occurring among all animals, from insects to humans. Among humans, this process occurs at the national, organizational and individual levels simultaneously, and formal mathematical models of these dynamics are offered.

This book provides specific case studies where, firstly, cultural shifts in the 1960s will be revealed as a complex fissioning process whereby individuals began asserting their autonomy from the oppressive group control of church, state and family in response to the relative affluence of post-World War II America. Second, recurring "moral panics" are shown as fusion cycles in response to the perception of an acute threat. Thirdly, the book discusses nation-formation as a large-scale fusion response to threat, using the origin of the United States as a case study. The book concludes by listing general principles of fusion-fission dynamics to help scholars further understand this universal phenomenon.












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