By Bronislaw Malinowski
Malinowski offers during this e-book his definitive assertion of the idea of functionalism. because the crucial clue to the knowledge of human habit, primitive and civilized, he analyzes the useful precept that tradition is an exam of the basics of anthropology for the aim of making a normal approach to provide an explanation for the proof of tradition by way of this principle.
Originally released 1944.
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Additional info for A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays
He has to protect himself and organize for such protection against external enemies and dangers, physical, animal, or human. All these primary problems of human beings are solved for the individual by artifacts, organization into coopera- 38 A SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF CULTURE tive groups, and also by the development of knowledge, a sense of value and ethics. We shall attempt to show that a theory can be developed in which the basic needs and their cultural satisfaction can be linked up with the derivation of new cultural needs; that these new needs impose upon man and society a secondary type of determinism.
Westermarck has contributed more to our knowledge of human marriage and the family by the correct appreciation of such relationships, of the vitality of the domestic institution, and by his penetrating intuitive insight as to the purely ceremonial role of various wedding rites, than by his evolutionary linking up of human marriage with the pairing of apes, birds, and reptiles. The specific and permanent contributions of Robertson Smith, of Durkheim, of Freud and his followers, have already been noted.
This preliminary definition will have to be made more precise, more concrete, and more cogent. ^ And here also,' if we achieve such an agreement, if we can develop some Universally valid principles of institutional action, we 40 A SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF CULTURE shall once more lay a scientific foundation for our empirical and theoretical pursuits. Obviously, neither of these two schemes of analysis implies that all cultures are identical, nor yet that the student of culture must be more interested in identities or similarities than he is in differences.
A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays by Bronislaw Malinowski