primitive society

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primitive society

the least internally differentiated, and earliest, form(s) of human societies. As one of a number of terms (e.g. SIMPLE SOCIETY or SAVAGERY) also used to refer to such societies, the use of’primitive society’ suggests an elementary or basic level of technological and social organizational complexity. Theorists such as Levy-Bruhl (1923) have also proposed ‘pre-logical’ forms of primitive mentality associated with such levels of technological and social organization.

Notwithstanding the sympathetic and non-judgemental way that the term ‘primitive society’ has often been employed, the pejorative connotations of it have tended to lead to the use of alternative terms such as simple society, TRIBAL SOCIETY or NONLITERATE SOCIETY. However, none of these alternatives is able to entirely escape derogatory overtones. These arise from the basic cultural assumptions of modern societies in which modern society is seen as a superior form. The only solution is to continue to work towards accounts of premodern societies which do not automatically adopt such assumptions but explore the qualities of these forms of society in an open-ended way see also EVOLUTIONARY THEORY.

References in periodicals archive ?
Looking in turn at contexts and debates and Tylor beyond the canon, they consider such topics as the debate between Tylor and Andrew Lang over the theory of primitive monotheism: implications for contemporary studies of indigenous religions, theorizing from the 19th to the 20th centuries about myth in Britain and Germany: Tylor versus Blumenberg, Tylor as ethnographer, necromancy as a religion: Tylor's discussion of spiritualism in Primitive Culture and in his diary, and deconstructing the survival in Primitive Culture: from memes to dreams and bricolage.
Prior to the 1970s, traditional Aboriginal creative expression was primarily of interest only to anthropologists, as examples of primitive culture (Morphy 1998:22).
The approach stays true to Shakespeare in abstracting the action from any specific time period, but the actors will wear fairly contemporary clothing (actors in Shakespeare's time wore the clothing of their era, says Epstein) that suggests a primitive culture.
Until then, there is no hope for nation building when aspiring national leaders bent on ideology of primitive culture of traditional revenge killings--a culture that perpetuate the cycle of violence.
A man from a primitive culture who sees an automobile might guess that it was powered by the wind or by an antelope hidden under the car, but when he opens up the hood and sees the engine he immediately realizes that it was designed.
They deduce that it might have been how a primitive culture would have described a sophisticated machine.
An interesting chronological table in the front matter lists the selections by date, beginning with an 1871 excerpt on animism from a book titled Primitive Culture by Edward B.
It was wrecked by the deliberate exploitation of the primitive culture by revolutionary members of the civilized one for the purpose of undermining and bringing down the Western Christian world they despised, employing the most simple, and simply efficient, tool available to them at the time--a primitive, popular art form of the early 20th century, whose demonic properties were suspected by many of their contemporaries, but recognized most completely by themselves.
He bequeathed a definition of culture--"Culture, or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society"--on the first page of his 1871 Primitive Culture that was and in many ways remains the touchstone definition for the discipline.
It will improve the primitive culture, lifestyle and tradition of the mountainous valley Bhaderwah.
Levi-Strauss wasn't an armchair anthropologist, at least not at the outset, and didn't reinvent primitive culture off the top of his shelves, as Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss, founders of the French school of sociology, had done.
The story's ethnographic dimension, its invocation of an imagined primitive culture, has received relatively little critical scrutiny, especially in relation to its more salient representation of nonnormative sexuality.