unilinear


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unilinear

of any process of SOCIAL CHANGE or development which always proceeds in a single direction, through the same stages, and with the same results. The concept of unilinearity is actually a redundant one in sociology, for no process of social change is actually (or ever could be) unilinear. However, unilinear assumptions were a prominent feature of much 19th-century social theory. See also EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, DIFFUSION.