civilization

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Related to civilisation: Chinese civilisation

civilization,

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.

Bibliography

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).

civilization

  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.

Civilization

 

(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.

REFERENCES

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
He then challenged those 'cyber troopers' attacking him to explain 'why they disagree that to make Islamic civilisation great again, there must be no misue of Islam to peddle lies '
Or Rakhigarha in Haryana which displays the same incredible urban planning - wide roads and an organised sewage system - that is a hallmark of this lost civilisation. Then there is Dholavira in Gujarat which boasts reservoirs that give us a tantalising glimpse into how advanced their water-management system was.
As stated by Anand Krishna in his latest book 'Sindhu Samskriti' which was launched on the same occasion, '(The area of Sindhu, Indus, Indies, Indo, Shin-tuh, Hindu Civilisation) is very vast - covering parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet; Southeast Asia, including our archipelago - until outer limit of Australia, or was known Astralaya then.'
These views were expressed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) Karachi faculty member of Business Administration and Social Sciences, Ali Nasir during his second lecture on Indus valley civilisation .
For two civilisations to be in a position to pay a visit to each other requires an unbelievable level of coincidence.
The reason behind his enthusiasm in learning old languages, he said, was to understand the way old civilisations lived in the Arabian Peninsula.
He said Dilmun started from 5th Century BC and is the civilisation continuing to date.
CGAR director Prof Mokhtar Saidin also hailed the project which allowed the university an opportunity in the studies of early civilisation, prehistory and reconstruction of the palaeo-environment there.
The End of Civilisation will premiere at the iconic Tyne Theatre, built on the site of a stretch of Hadrian's Wall in Newcastle city centre.
Schmidl, "A Universal Plate for Timekeeping with the Stars by Habash al-Hasib: Text, Translation and Preliminary Commentary" in Suhayl--Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation (Barcelona) 2 (2001): 107-59.
As Darwin claims, "The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations ....
Original text: Civilisation ou barbarie, Anthropologie sans complaisance (Paris, 1982), p.