What is Social Evolutionism?

Social evolutionism is a theory of anthropology that states that every society begins in a primitive way and evolves over time.

According to this theory, each society, when it begins, has a more animalistic way of being and gradually reaches a slow and gradual development, becoming more civilized . what is social evolutionism

The theory of evolutionism , also known as evolutionary theory , is a similar concept that holds that species undergo mutations that end up defining their respective degrees of evolution. what is social evolutionism

Both concepts are based on the idea that evolution is a process that occurs gradually, however, social evolutionism is subordinate to social anthropology.

It considers society as a whole, that is, it carries out an analysis through observation. taking into account the culture, habits, aspects, etc. what is social evolutionism

Evolutionary theory, on the other hand, is subordinate to biological anthropology and considers that organisms are capable of undergoing changes according to the needs of the environment.

Theory of Evolution

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was the main scientist responsible for evolutionary theory. In 1831, he embarked on an expedition around the world, together with botanist John Stevens Henslow, aboard an English ship called the Beagle. what is social evolutionism

The expedition of the two friends lasted five years (1831-1836) and during this period, Darwin had the opportunity to carry out various studies and observe various species.

He concluded that although many of the species are similar, they mutated over time and could be maintained in successive generations. what is social evolutionism

In a way, these mutations influenced the continuity of the species and were responsible for the fact that some stand out in relation to others.

Despite not being able to discover why these mutations occur, Darwin concluded that, in the mutation process, some species became stronger and eventually began to have a higher rate of future continuity / survival.

Then came the concept of natural selection , which is an evolutionary process in which the strongest survive. This process is one of the concepts of Darwinism. 


Darwinism is a set of ideas and concepts related to evolutionism, whose main idea is that the strongest species survive or that best adapt to the environment.

This line of reasoning had a direct influence on the concept of social evolutionism , giving rise to the term social Darwinism.

It establishes that the strongest societies survive and / or that best adapt to the environment. Unfortunately, this concept ended up generating a series of ethnic and xenophobic problems , as some societies began to consider themselves superior to others.

Cultural Evolutionism

Cultural evolutionism considers that the development of societies occurs from the growth and changes suffered.

As in social Darwinism , this created problems between different ethnicities and nationalities because everything that resembled European culture was considered more evolved than that which was closer to primitive culture.

Social Evolutionism and Colonialism

Social evolutionism asserts that societies evolve over time, believing that some become superior to others.

This idea is directly linked to the practice of colonialism , where societies considered superior exploit the so-called inferiors to turn them into colonies.

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