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Download A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays by Bronislaw Malinowski PDF

By Bronislaw Malinowski

Malinowski offers during this e-book his definitive assertion of the speculation of functionalism. because the crucial clue to the certainty of human habit, primitive and civilized, he analyzes the sensible precept that tradition is an exam of the basics of anthropology for the aim of creating a normal procedure to give an explanation for the evidence of tradition through this principle.

Originally released 1944.

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Extra resources for A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays

Sample text

This usually occurs as a by-product of other activities. Even in primitive tribes there is a collective division of functions as between men and women.

Yet this approach, I submit, is essentially unscientific. It fails, first and foremost, to define, on the principles of relevancy, what can be regarded as the real and significant elements of a culture. It fails also to give us any clue, in comparing some of these apparently exotic "isolates," to customs or culture arrangements in other societies. As a matter of fact, we shall be able to show that some realities which seem very strange at first sight are essentially cognate to very universal and fundamentally human cultural elements; and this very recognition will admit of the explanation, that is, the description in familiar terms, of exotic customs.

Methods and mechanisms of an educational character must exist in every culture. Order and law have to be maintained, since cooperation is the essence of every cultural achievement. In every community there must exist arrangements for the sanctioning of custom, ethics, and law. The material substratum of culture has to be renewed, and maintained in working order. Hence, some forms of economic organization are indispensable, even in the most primitive cultures. Thus man has, first and foremost, to satisfy all the needs of his organism.

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