ERIC Number: ED247154
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Society and Culture: Systems Definitions for an Alternative Social Science Paradigm.
Johnson, Gary R.
Two basic concepts of the social sciences--society and culture--are analyzed and new definitions are proposed. Concepts are the basic building blocks of scientific theory. A science with poor concepts will, therefore, be incapable of producing powerful scientific theory. When commonly used social science definitions of society and culture are evaluated according to standard rules for the formulation of definitions, they are found to be fundamentally unsound as scientific definitions. Because the very foundations of the discipline have been poorly constructed, the social sciences have failed to develop elegant scientific theories. The old concepts must be replaced with a set of firmer concepts. Working from a base definition of system, definitions for society and culture are reformulated. Related concepts are also redefined. The new definitions are proposed as foundations for an alternative social science paradigm. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (82nd, Chicago, IL, November 17-20, 1983).