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Related to Advanced culture: civilization, Primitive culture


culture with a relatively high degree of elaboration and technical development. The term civilization also designates that complex of cultural elements that first appeared in human history between 8,000 and 6,000 years ago. At that time, on the basis of agriculture, stock-raising, and metallurgy, intensive occupational specialization began to appear in the river valleys of SW Asia. Writing appeared, as well as urban centers that accommodated administrators, traders, and other specialists. The specific characteristics of civilization are: food production (plant and animal domestication), metallurgy, a high degree of occupational specialization, writing, and the growth of cities. Such characteristics originally emerged in several different parts of the prehistoric world: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, the central Andes, and Mesoamerica. However, some civilizations did not have all of these characteristics (e.g., the Classic Maya had no metallurgy, and true writing apparently never emerged in central Mexico or the central Andes). Many anthropologists now focus on a political factor—the development of hierarchical administrative bureaucracies—as the critical characteristic of all civilizations.


See P. Sorokin, Social and Cultural Dynamics (1981); R. Wothnaw, Meaning and Moral Order (1987); F. Fernández-Armesto, Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature (2001).

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  1. the advanced cultural forms (e.g. central government, development of the arts and learning, articulated concern with morals and manners) associated with cities and the wider societies in which these are located. The term derives from the Latin civis, citizen.
  2. a particular society or culture area possessing the above characteristics (e.g. ‘Chinese civilization’ or ‘Western civilization’).
Historically, use of the term was often strongly, and somewhat crudely, evaluative, e.g. the contrast with pre-existing stages such as SAVAGERY or BARBARISM. See also CIVILIZING PROCESS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A synonym for culture. In Marxist literature the word is also used to designate material culture.

(2) A level or stage of social development or material and nonmaterial culture, for example, ancient civilization and modern civilization.

(3) The stage of social development that follows barbarism (L. Morgan, F. Engels).

The concept of civilization originated in the 18th century along with the concept of culture. The French Enlightenment philosophers applied the term to a society based on the principles of reason and justice. In the 19th century the concept of civilization was used to a limited extent to characterize capitalism as a whole. Thus, N. Ia. Danilevskii formulated the theory of the general typology of cultures, or civilizations, in accordance with which universal history does not exist, but only the history of given civilizations having an individual, closed character. In the conception of O. Spengler, civilization is the distinct, final stage of development of any culture. Its primary signs are the development of industry and technology, the degradation of art and literature, the concentration of people in big cities, and the transformation of the people into faceless “masses.” In this interpretation, civilization as an age of decline is contrasted to the integrity and organicism of culture. These and other idealist concepts explain neither the nature of civilization nor the true essence of its development. The classics of Marxism analyzed the driving forces and contradictions of the development of civilization, substantiating the necessity of the revolutionary transition to its new phase—the communist society.


Marx, K. “Konspekt knigi L’iuisa G. Morgana ’Drevnee obshchestvo.’” In Arkhiv K. Marksai F. Engel’sa, vol. 9. Moscow, 1941.
Engels, F. Proiskhozhdenie sem’i chastnoi sobstvennosti i gosudarstva. In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21.
Morgan, L. Drevnee obshchestvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1935. (Translated from English.)
Markarian, E. S. O kontsepisiilokal’nykh tsivilizatsii. Yerevan, 1962.
Artanovskii, S. N. Istoricheskoe edinstvo chelovechestva i vzaimnoe vliianie kul’tur: Filosofsko-metodologicheskii analiz sovremennykh zarubezhnykh kontseptsii. Leningrad, 1967.
Emge, K. A. Die Frage nach einem neuen Kulturbegriff. Mainz, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even if I am totally annihilated at death, and my consciousness becomes as nonexistent, after I die, as if I had never existed at all, my life on earth, my time here will be a much richer experience, due to the technologically advanced culture in which I will have lived, than if my existence consisted of nothing more than hopping from tree to tree and eating berries.
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In a multiple-choice question on impressions of Japan, 87 % saw Japan as a "a nation with advanced technology," up from 85%, 42% called it "a country with an advanced economy," down from 66%, and 39% cited its "advanced culture," down from 42%.
But if ours were actually the best and most advanced culture, as Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind, 1987) and others have argued, perhaps this bias would be less problematic.
In Camden's account of English origins, as in the Irish tracts, northern barbarians belong to a narrative model that configures history as the gradual acquisition of civility - a civility, moreover, apparently dependent upon the forcible imposition of a more advanced culture. The paradigm of English cultural evolution from barbarism to involuntary civilization by means of imperial conquest supplies the blueprint for Spenser's and Davies's proposals for introducing civility to Ireland.
Historians tell us that Islamic civilization was the richest and most advanced culture in the world during the early Middle Ages, particularly in the mid-eighth through the mid-eleventh centuries, and perhaps reached its peak during the ninth century.
What cyberspace and the burgeoning culture of the Net reveal is how far away our notions of contact have drifted from anything resembling physical contact, and in the process, how dis-embodied we have become as a technologically advanced culture.
The first contingent of 15 prawn farmers from the northwestern coast region set out in October for a two-week course in advanced culture technology.
~[T]he proposal [to give Eliot the Dial Award] was a device intended to garner goodwill for The Dial or a tactic in its struggle to consolidate its position as the dominant journal of advanced culture' (p.
An advanced culture when first observed by Europeans, the Pueblos used irrigation, hunted for meat, and wove cotton for clothing.
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The government keeps a firm grip on what gets broadcast in China, and recent months have seen stern pronouncements from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) aimed at dating shows and romantic skeins, as well as programs about health issues, to emphasize that pubcasters have a social responsibility and that media leaders must be "responsible to lead the advanced culture trend," according to research by Miao Di of the Communication U.

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