Tag Archives: Sociological Theory

The Nuts and Bolts of Evolution, IV: General Evolution

Having laid out some key aspects of evolution in previous posts (here, here, and here), I want to turn to the two strategies sociologists may follow that biological evolution takes: general and specific evolution. Specific evolution is phylogenetic, or the comparative study … Continue reading

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Sociocultural Evolution: Universal Human Concerns

When I first began writing about institutional evolution (Abrutyn 2009), I was continually confronted with the same problem functionalists had – e.g., why does every society have a “polity” or a “kinship” system? That is, there is something seemingly biological … Continue reading

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Does Sociology Have Laws? (Spoiler Alert, Yes it Does!)

Yesterday, I was sitting in a faculty retreat and we were discussing whether we needed to restructure the department given the continuous growth of faculty and the increasing number and complexity of exigencies the Head must deal with; exigencies which … Continue reading

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The Nuts and Bolts of Evolution, III: Sociology’s Greatest Sin, the Stage Model

If you asked a biologist, “are there stages of hominid evolution?”, they’d look at you like you were crazy. Of course, biological evolution is, from a teleological standpoint, directionless. So, why has sociology been so preoccupied with classificatory stage models? Indeed, … Continue reading

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The Nuts and Bolts of Evolution, II: The Limits of Darwinian Explanations

Having discussed some of the basic aspects of Darwinian (biological) evolution, I want to talk about why Darwinian processes do not work in explaining sociocultural evolution; at least not the vast majority of evolution today. Undoubtedly, human societies and numerous propensities like a tendency towards … Continue reading

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Multi-Level Neo-Darwinism: The Good and Bad

I realized as I wrote this entry that a follow up that should have preceded this is in order. The follow up, or probably two-part entry, would need to provide for the uninitiated, first, the basics of biological evolution and … Continue reading

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Toward a Prolegomena of Evolutionary Sociology

Since my second year in grad school, I have been enamored with evolution as an explanatory framework for some types of historical, social, and cultural change. I realize there is deserved and undeserved skepticism surrounding evolutionary theory and evolutionary sociology, … Continue reading

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