(41) Ver DUNCAN, James S., "The Superorganic
in American Cultural Geography", en Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol.
SAPIR E., 1917, << Do We Need a Superorganic
>>, American Anthropologist, New Series, 19, 3 : 441-447.
However, only a few practitioners, notably Carter (1968) and Zelinsky (1973), concerned themselves with the conceptual implications of the landscape approach and even then the concern was with links to the superorganic
concept of culture from anthropology (Kroeber, 1917) and not with behaviorist concepts from psychology.
Kroeber had published "The Superorganic
" (a term taken from Herbert Spencer) in the American Anthropologist in 1917; it was anthropology's declaration of independence from biology and the grounding of the foundational concept of culture for anthropology.
Herbert Spencer (1967), a contemporary of Marshall, is the first to coin the term "superorganic
" to describe human organization.
Folklorists frequently approach cinema, especially popular cinema, as an artistic text which has some kind of superorganic
existence outside of the culture which produces it (see Thomas 1980, Degh 1994).
My concern has been to go beyond a conception of oral literature as disembodied superorganic
stuff and to view it contextually and ethnographically, in order to discover the individual, social, and cultural factors that give it shape and meaning in the conduct of social life.
Perhaps Spencer's most pervasive effect has been on our language for analytic discourse; he either coined or popularized such important ideas as evolution (first used in 1854 as a less value-laden term than progress), superorganic
, "survival of the fittest" (in: 1852, seven years before Darwin's Origin of Species), system, equilibrium, institution, structure, function, differentiation, adaptation, and social development.
In general terms, Ogburn conceptualized culture as our "social heritage", the "superorganic
" which he got from Herbert Spencer's evolutionary theory, and "civilization" (Ogburn 1966, pp.
This fiction of ultimate ownership by an individual office is none the less legally real, just as the superorganic
constructions of the Dreaming or Aboriginal Law have reality in Aboriginal culture and society.
However, we live our lives as individuals, not as some "superorganic
This kind of discourse, in which the domination and incorporation of two New World continents by a North Atlantic capitalism is construed as matters of adaptive advantage, the class of superorganic
cultures, and inevitability will seem naively unhistorical and distorting to most scholars of American Indian studies.