Jan 29 - Haas 2001

Haas 2001 - Cultural Evolution and Political Centralization

Answer two of the following three questions in a two part answer of no more than 200 words each.

1. Haas describes a pattern in 19th and 20th century anthropology where researchers propose generalized and universal models of cultural evolution, and these models are then criticized by subsequent generations of anthropologists. Briefly describe the positions of late 19th century cultural evolutionists, their critics, and the mid-20th century evolutionists and their critics.

2. Consider two of the nine developmental paths at the end of Haas’ article in light of the selectionist and transformational views on evolution described earlier. Present a hypothetical example (you can be creative here) of each of these two showing the crux of the difference between a selectionist interpretation and a transformational interpretation.

3. If the contrast between the selectionist and the transformational approach represents a continuation of the conflict over the universal comparability between cultures in anthropology, explain in a brief but convincing way how the tinkerer model be used to reconcile these in one of the nine processes discussed at the end of Haas’ article. Please don't just use one of Haas' examples from the article but come up with one of your own.