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Society and Culture From Diffusionist Perspective

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1. What is Diffusionism?

The general meaning of diffusion is to extend any object from one place to the another. Each object, service, political and social system cultural value etc. of the world are all regulated through the rule of diffusion. To look the process of development of physical and non-physical all aspects of culture, we reach a fact that this is a normal process and regular event. The explanation which we are doing here about diffusionism, we are studying about the emergence of cultural development and holistic process of change. Therefore, in the context of the understanding of society and culture diffusionism is also a thought, philosophy, perspective, model, theory methodology etc. all, we have to understand this value. Therefore, in sociological and anthropologic point of view, diffusion symbolizes norms, values of society, tradition, civilization, language, art, literature, life, style, fooding, system, custom, thinking, belief, farming system, medicine science, technology, political system, production system, religion etc. all expansion process from one place to the next by the process of diffusion.

Emergence of any object or socio-cultural aspect happens in particular places. In the social development process these elements gradually expand to the surrounding places at first and other places too through different mediums. On the basis of cultural diffusion stimulate elements the process of diffusion goes ahead. Short time is the sufficient to reach other places of the some cultural element but to expand any cultural element to other place may take long time. In the process of society development each cultural element diffuse one community to the next. In this regard specially by the human contact, migration, transportation, communication, social relation, war, socio-cultural, exchange, education etc. causes culture diffuse one community to the another, one country to the another, one continent to the next etc. Either by the desire of human or not this process goes on. Therefore, in this process there is adjustment of several social behavior, relation, interaction etc. From this the process of diffusion starts. This process is sovereign. Therefore, after the generalization of diffusion process theoretical value was provided to it. In this process several anthropologists have done study and research in different societies. Diffusionists say that different cultural complexities in different period of time and in different places developed and extended all over the world. Therefore, culture grows in the historical context not from evolution. For the study of growth of culture and to study equal development diffusionist theory developed.


We have known that in the process of human development, in particular place different civilization and cultures were evolved. In the course of time the impact of such civilization and culture extended to other societies. Likewise, culture development and its processes of diffusion are going on ahead. Science and technology development and its events of diffusion are happening. These are all examples of diffusion. Different civilizations of the world such as the civilization of Nile river, civilization of Sindhu Ghanti, civilization of Greece, civilization of Mesopotamiya etc. diffused upto other places. The impact of this came in the modern age too. The achievements of science and technology developed in western countries have been diffused all over the world. The use of these has been done in each society. Likewise, the ideology of Gautam Buddha, as in the form of ideology and Buddhist religion has been diffused all over the world. The political system and economic system which we have today is also the result of diffusion. Therefore, in socio-cultural study diffusionist theoretical value cannot separated. In the history of human society, the extension of cultural elements has done or it is continue from one community to the another, one generation to the next etc. In this the same process the development and change of culture also happens. In the process of the diffusion of culture, in some conditions that diffuses as it is but in some conditions that diffuses with changed form. In the process of diffusion originated culture may decline and new culture with new structure may formulate. This condition seems only after long course of time of cultural process. Therefore, how the evolutionists have said that the independent evolution of culture and its development process forwards gradually through unlinear structure and through the medium of evolution, cultural change occurs, diffusionists are not agree on this interpretation. Diffusionists have the concept that there are some special conditions of culture formulation and the originated culture on these conditions starts to diffuse to the other communities.

Let us see the definition of different scientists regarding to the diffusion. From these also we may be clear about the concept of diffusion. Collins dictionary of sociology edited by David Jary and Julia Jary has mentioned "Diffusion is the spread of cultural traits [e.g. religions, belief etc.] of social practices from one society or group to another." From this definition it is clear that diffusion is that spread of all traits of culture with social practices from a community to another. In this context, Rogers (1962) has said that "Diffusion is the process by which an innovation spreads. The diffusion process is the spread of a new idea from its source of invention or creation to the ultimate users in adopters through deliberate borrowing or through the imposition of a set of traits by a more powerful society to weaker one". The difference on this this definition is that the explanation of how culture diffuses is mention. S.K Saderson (1991) has mentioned two processes of this, these are; first is by society itself with known import of socio-cultural system and second by the imposition of powerful community to the weaker one.

In this context Ember and Ember (1994) has said "The process by which cultural elements are borrowed from another society and incorporated into the culture of the recipient group is called diffusion."

About the diffusion Makhan Jha (1994) say -"Diffusionist are of opinion that culture has growth in course of history, not because of evolution, but because of transmission of culture due to the historical happenings and mutual contact. Such historical happening which lead to the transmission of culture are provided theory to the study of culture growth and culture parallels was called diffusion."


In conclusion we can say that in the context of socio-cultural development process diffusion is a normal process, in which the socio-cultural traits of a community spread to the others. About this the detail has been mentioned below. Because of the influencing factors of this process the speed of diffusion differs. The events of diffusion may have seen in very short time in some conditions but sometimes it may take the time of age to age also. But his is continuous process of the society. Some place special way to more positive for the formulation of culture, the originated culture from such, invention including physical and non-physical aspects of the culture spread one place to the another.


To look the pattern of cultural diffusion it seems normal as the need of human beings culture spreads and the another society also adopts normally. On the other way, from the medium of direct contact also diffuse the culture. In some conditions the impact of influencing society is imposed to the next or normally goes to the another.

On the basis of these analyzes we can mention the characteristics of diffusion or diffusionism as:
  1. Diffusion is a process of spreading cultural elements or holistic aspects of culture from one community to the another. 
  2. Diffusion theory developed through the sovereign rule of the study of diffusion process of culture. 
  3. For the origin of culture specific places are more responsible or positive. 
  4. Process of cultural change also forwards with the diffusion of it. 
  5. This is not only normal process but also influences from condition special and mentality of the community. 
  6. The is sovereign process. 
  7. There are different international and external elements to stimulate and it spite to the diffusion. 
  8. The speed of diffusion in modern society is more rapid. 
  9. Emphasis on the value that there are more than the culture in the world and their quality and condition may not be the same. 
  10. In the structure of culture, less emphasis to the process of evolution and more emphasis to the diffusion. 
  11. For the similarity of culture, is the cause of diffusion rather physic unity of human kind. 

2. Means of Diffusion of Culture

  1. Social relationship

  2. Exploration

  3. Migration

  4. Social process

  5. Social mobility:

    Social mobility is also a type of socio-cultural process. In which human beings are followed new economic norms values, ways etc. to uplift their economic status and then socially they want to follow so called high relation, ideology and traditions etc. In this process normally they are followed new types of socio-cultural values which are coming through any mean to this condition from any particular place.
Also read: Concept in Sociology: Characteristics, Functions, Social Theory, Difference, Relationship
  1. Military conquest:

    Because of different conflicts of cultural and political groups and the conflict emerged by different causes among nations of different geographical location or by the military punishment and conquest of this, the culture of strong class or community diffuses to the weak community, nation or society. For example, in the period of British colonialism the impact of this diffused all over the the world. In present, the attack of America to Afghanistan in the strong Talibani culture brought changes. After second world war cultural disorder condition come in the world.
  2. Missionary work:

    In the cultural diffusion, religion circulation remains important role. The soul of culture is religion. Through the religious belief and thinking each behavior of human beings is directed. In this condition, the circulation of any religion to the next makes mixture of cultures and the traits of new religion and learned, and new type of culture emerges there. Through this, the culture of one community enters into the next culture of next community. Today, we have seen that because of the circulation of Christian religion, the people of other religion has brought in whole socio-cultural life. Therefore, religious commentary, workshop, feast, circulation and diffusion etc. contribute to the diffusion of culture.
  3. Imitation:

    The trait of imitation in human beings remain strong. Try of imitated new system and ways is normal event. In this the same process human imitates new technology, tradition, rituals, religion, education, socio-culture to any community has been diffused. Today we are imitating the culture or way of life of western such as living, fooding, marriage system, solute, wearing etc. In the process of this imitation, wester culture has brought changes in Nepalese life style.
  4. Influence of mass media and transportation:

    The development of science and technology has made cultural diffusion wider. Means of transportation and communication these developed today have increased the mobility of people and the other side, through these means we can understand the activities of the world within few time, this type of condition has been created by science and technology. Modern means of communication such as radio, T.V., internet, telephone etc. are proved as strong means for cultural diffusion. Just a example the programs broadcasted from outer world through television have made great impact to the life of people. The change has appeared in old value, system, technology and working styles. In these all conditions, either this or that form culture has diffused from a community to the another.
  1. Tourism:

    Because of the extension of tourism industry as a new industry development has been helped much for the diffusion of culture. Any citizen of any country, while goes to the second country he/she also carriers cultural traits with him. On the other side he/she also adopts some new cultural traits of this country. Likewise, with the extension of tourism business, they gradually accept that types of technology, fooding and others new styles by changing their old own. In this process also culture diffuses. Therefore, tourism industry also becomes important mean in this regard.
  2. Trade and employment etc.:

    World trade system developed with the development of capitalism. In presents process of economic globalization has been developed rapidly. This helps to diffuse the culture. To be the wave of western culture global, there is great role of trade and business. And it has also the role for the cultural development and cultural change. Moreover, global diplomatic relation developed or grown in latest time, creation of opportunities, system of labor division etc. are contributed for the wider employment arena. In this context, the possibilities of socio-cultural diffusion are increased. 

3. Society and Culture From Diffusionist Perspective

A. Context of Diffusionism

The social scientists started to develop concepts about diffusion with 20th century. Especially, the interpretation of classical cultural evolution developed in 19th century helped much in the interpretation of diffusionism. Because the value regarding to the emergence of society and cultural development and change was done in linear base, had rejected by some of the European anthropologists and they developed the diffusionist concept in cultural development. Through the deep study of the aspects of society and culture several anthropologists analyzed evolutionism and they developed. The new concept that culture develops in some particular places and diffuses it up to the wider areas. They also drew a conclusion that most of the cultures of the world are the consequences of diffusion. According to Diffusionists, several cultures develop and grow in cultural processes rather than only the means of evolution. The culture developed in a particular become global through the medium of cultural transformation.

The use of this concept wad done by E.B. Tylor (1971). Although he is an evolutionist. He used this concept in the context of the analysis of non indigenous traits which we may in the society. Likewise, T. Parsons (1964) used this concept, in the context of the analysis of diffusion of social institutions and significance of capitalist democracy of west in third world countries.


19th and in the beginning of 20th century, there happened great theoretical debate regarding to diffusionist and evolutionists and free exploration. In this period of time, evolutionists understood the responsible factor as the phychological character remained in human beings for the society and culture developed in different parts of the world. But diffusionists rejected this. After the conclusion drawn by them as culture developed in some places and extended all over the world, the research and study were done further for the logical bases about this theory. In this context British Anthropologists G. Elliot Smith, W.J. Perry, W.H.R. Rivers etc. forwarded the concept that culture originated in a place (Ancient Egypt) only and extended over the world. On the other side, German and Austrian school of thought put forward a logic as to be emphasized historical geographical analysis while analyze the culture. According to them, they drew the conclusion that there are not same types of cultures in the world. Among them Frederick Ratzel, Fritz Graebner, Leo Frobeniu and Father Wilhelm Schmidt are taken as an important. Likewise, next American school of thought also developed. Which developed the view point that each culture's evolution, diffusion and change are to be taken in comparative form. The scientists of this school of thought are taken in comparative form. The scientists of this school of thought are Franz Boas, Clark Wissler and Alfred Louis Krober as important.

In present time, the concept has been developed that diffusionism should be analyzed through the new way. They have developed the statement that the fact cultural traits go to other places through the means of diffusions sovereign but what are these cultural traits? How these developed in the beginning? And how these diffuse? etc. are essential to study. Latest diffusionists are raised these issues. From the interpretation of evolutionists about the emergence of culture, development and change, some anthropologists developed diffusionist theory. According to the, origination and development of culture may through the means of communication. They development the concept that culture only originates in a particular place. Cultural growth and parallels of culture happen only through historical events. In that time, diffusionists developed the value that the diffusion of culture reaches from one community and generation to another community and generation through the means of hand over. They also developed a conclusion that not because of the cultural similarity, evolution or mental unity of the people in the community that is diffusion. Although different thoughts also developed regarding to the diffusion of culture. It is found that different anthropologists have explained and analyzed to the diffusionist theory by their own way. Mainly by including in three schools of thoughts these concepts can be mentioned as:
  1. School of British Diffusionist
  2. School of German Diffusionist
  3. School of American Diffusionist
To be clear about which anthropologists of Diffusionists are associated in these schools of thoughts the following chart has been mentioned:

British Diffuseniets: G.E. Smith, W.J. Perry W.H.R. Rivers
German Diffusionist: Friedrich Ratzel, Fritz Graebner, Leo Freobenius Father Wilhelm Schmidt
American Diffusionist: Clark Wissler, Alfred Louis Krober, Franz Boas

B. Assumption of Diffusionism

In the context of process of socio-cultural development, some assumptions or basic assumptions are essential to accept or realize. If we have to interpret and  analyze society and culture through the diffusionist perspective then it is essential to realize the assumptions of this perspective understanding about diffusionism is itself and important aspect. The more important than this is to study the social events by using this perspective as we the students of sociology and anthropology. If we are able to understand the assumptions of this perspective then we can do the research related to this perspective and we can prepare the research strategy in research work. In this context the assumptions of this theory we can present as:

1. Culture is originated from particular place and expand all over the world.

The main assumption of diffusionism is that culture develops in particular place. For the formulation of culture special type of environment is essential. Therefore, the culture emerged in a particular place goes near to far places or expands gradually through the various socio-cultural processes, in this process, it gets more or less reformation or changes as normal process.

2. More emphasized on diffusion of culture than evolution.

The next important assumption of this theory is that it doesn't emphasize to the evolution of culture but emphasizes to the diffusion process of cultural traits which originated in a particular place. For the origin of culture special type of environment is essential. But the cultural traits developed in few places expand to the various places in a long course of time. Therefore, similarities are there among the cultural traits which are found in various places of the world.

3. Diffusion beings from the origin of culture.

The diffusion of culture always begins from the origin and developed form of culture. While the culture originates in a place or particular place then as the rule of diffusionism it starts to diffuse or the process of diffusion starts on it. While diffusion of culture in this way, the main or original traits of culture at least reach to the other communities.

4. Diffusion is situational.

The diffusion of culture never goes similarly to all conditions. Therefore, there is some sort of role of the elements, which influence to the diffusion of culture. Because of which while the understanding of Diffusionist theory and the study of society and culture through this model, that sorts of causal factors are essential to consider. The attitude of human beings, special traits of the culture or the presence of the medium of culture diffusion and influence of then affect to the diffusion.

5. It is universal process.

In the context of cultural development diffusion is a normal and universal process. It is the rule of development of socio-culture that none of culture remains static. The nature of culture is mobility on it. Therefore, the cultures of each society expand through small level or from the form of origin to wider level. The culture diffused from first place to the second also diffuses to the other places. Therefore, diffusion is universal process.

6. Based on historical process.

Diffusionism is based on the expansion of cultural elements. The culture emerged in a particular place goes ahead through different mediums on the basis of historical process. In this process different cultural interactions, contact and the process of diffusion goes ahead. The origin and development of culture goes ahead through the impact of historical series of events rather than the means of evolution. The presence of historical event and the impact of interaction influences directly or indirectly to the diffusion of culture. Therefore, diffusion of culture itself is a historical process and the relation of diffusion of culture has been based on historical events. The growth of culture gradually goes through the means of diffusion in historical age.

7. The cause of cultural parallels is diffusion.

We can see the similarities on the basic factors of culture in the world. The cause of it is that culture originated in particular places and extended that to the other places in long course of time. Because of the extension of culture originated in few particular places, we can see the similarities on basic nature of culture.

8. The process of change beings with the diffusion of culture.

While the diffusion of culture occurs from one community to the next then the change happens there in the culture of the community on which the diffusion has been done. Single community at a time can not follow more than one cultural behaviors. Therefore, while new culture is learned or copied or adopted then the existed cultural elements and behaviors start to decrease gradually. This is a process itself and in this process socio-cultural change becomes a normal event.

9. Nature of spontaneous and compulsion.

In cultural diffusion spontaneous and compulsion both types of characteristics are found. In the situation of war, victory, encroachment, domination etc. culture diffuses from one community to the next. In the form of compulsion or weaker community becomes forecefully ready to adopt the culture of stronger community or group. But in most of the conditions, culture gradually diffuses in historical process.

10. Internal and external situation are responsible for diffusion.

In the diffusion of any culture how social process, relation, marriage, kinship etc. internal aspects are responsible. Likewise internal migration, business, exchange, transportation, communication etc. external aspects are also equally responsible.

4. Boasian Diffusionist Perspective to Analyze Society and Culture.

A. Boas and American Diffusionist

Boas was born in Germany but later he established as an American anthropologist. Franz Boas in general started the development of cultural anthropology and established this subject as a specialized subject. He rejected the theory of evolution and developed as well as brought in practice with great emphasis the ethnographic techniques. Which has made important part of present anthropology. He conducted detail study of 'Eskimos' tribal group of nor then Canada and 'Kawkutl Indian tribal group of America'. Through this study he made a conclusion that the trait of specialization which remain in culture ins the consequence of different historical series of events. Therefore, the perspective of his is called particularism. He emphasized and accepted psychological aspect of culture as well as field work and holistic approach and developed as anthropological procedure and technique. He forwarded a logic that before any talk about cultural cradle there should be emphasized about holistic study of this. The interpretation of Franz Boas in anthropological analysis in greater, therefore he shouldn't be understood as only diffusionist. The contribution of him in the development of anthropology falls on the first place. Especially he is known as founder of American Anthropology.

In the context of the study of anthropology he has published different books. Among these books few books are mentioned under here.
  1. Cultural Eskimo (1988)
  2. The Kwakiutl Text (1905)
  3. Kwakiul of Vancouvar Island (1905)
  4. The mind of Primitive Man(1911)
  5. The Primitive Art (1927)
  6. Race, Language and Culture (1940)
The books, which are mentioned above and published by him are all based on the study of him. He especially has done deep study about different aspects of ethnic group as Kwakiutl, American India and Ekimos. By the study of holistic aspect of language, culture, folk rituals, socio-economic institution, traditions, rituals etc. He presented ethnographic picture. In this way, while study of culture in holistic aspect he used filed work study, historical process and holistic perspective in very good manner and then he made anthropological study more detail and realistic. Through the study of this and such other studies he made a conclusion that the perspective of ethnocentrism is faulty for the interpretation of society and culture. Therefore for the sake of this perspective of culture relativism should be accepted or realized. The assumption of him was that there shouldn't ranked as higher and lower the cultural values, norms of the people. Rather he found the way to rank the culture that with the sectors of cultural evolution which are more than one sectors. According to his we can see similarities and differences on culture. For the sake of this we should follow the scientific process to get conclusion through the observation and analysis of cultural behaviors and behaviors related general events.

According to him, on the other side it is equally important to accept the fact that culture has specific history and context. He believes on historical determinism. According to Boas each culture has its own historical development process. Human attitude and geographical environment influences to the development process of culture. Therefore, in the process of the diffusion of culture also similar type of geographical location can remain as an important causal factor because of this we can see some similarities in cultures.

The cause of this is that similar type of geographical location produces the particular type of cultural elements. On the other side he forwarded a concept that the emergence of cultural forms and characteristics can be done through the historical traditions. Which depends on place, geography human attitude etc. Psychological situation also after the diffusion of culture which culture remains as useful practical and essential for the society on which the culture diffuses then only the new culture becomes accepted.

The concept of him is that to understand the condition of culture and form of diffusion we should understand the complexity of culture. Cultural elements are interrelated to each other and on the other side, culture depends on historical process. He also forwarded an assumption that culture diffuses on its own intimate development process and on the context of development. Among these several processes, he has emphasized to the historical events and process. According to him, in the historical events, mutual relation, and order remains there. If we are able to search this we can understand the social reality. The elements developed in society and culture have to be evaluated in independent and free form. The concept of him is that we can do the ranking based study about the forms of culture with the understanding of historical study on the emergence of culture and the process of diffusion.

B. Bosnian Attract on Uniform Process of Growth of all culture

Boas emphasized on the diffusion process of culture. He established new assumption that we can interprete culture by the distinct perspective than the interpretation of evolutionists as an important concept of then in anthropology that here is ranking and parity on cultures. Bosaian theory of diffusion has rejected the interpretation of evolutionists that there is parity and order in culture and the development of culture goes through the gradual and similar trend.

On the other side, he developed the theory of cultural relativism. He put the forward the logic that we can not put on rank the development process of culture. He developed the assumption that the formulation of culture at first starts from particular place and condition and gradually that diffuse to the other places. In this matter evolutionists were said that the origin and development of culture starts from at a place and on the linear from gradually. But Boas has said that human attitude and geographical environment influences to the development of culture. Therefore, the assumption of him is that there never remains uniformity and that of development in all cultures. He is also agree on the matter that culture is the process of development. Because of the influencing factor to the diffusion and particular type of geographical location there never remains uniformity in the development culture.

C. Strength

Boas is an important person with the logic of the understanding of the development of culture through the diffusionist perspective in anthropology. He empowered diffusionist interpretation in the study of culture by saying the culture goes ahead through expand and develop. He criticized the fact that the development of culture goes ahead through single line, similar type and from a single level and forwarded a logic that there remains an important role of historical special situation in the development of culture. Franz Boas became able to make establish the study of the relationship between human and culture in anthropology. The consequence of this is that different cultural aspects are established as the study subjects of anthropology. He conducted the study regarding to ethnographic study and interpreted multi-aspects of their life style. Which has great importance in anthropology. Likewise, he conducted the study of ethnic groups and their historical development process especially focused on their language, culture, traditions, magic, folk tales, art, song, dance, etc. Therefore, he is also known as mythologist which determined the subject matter of anthropology. His next contribution is also on the field of physical anthropology that he conducted a study about physical growth and change of human beings. Likewise, he became able to apply the collection of facts through the scientific filed study and observation method in an anthropology. Likewise, he used historical approach in anthropological study.

D. Weakness

How much he emphasized the process of diffusion in the development of culture the much he became unable to the interrelated interpretation about the impact of geographical, environmental and ecological aspects in culture but that fact later applied by Marvin Harris. About the development of culture his interpretation is sufficient to explain on it, but he became unable to mention the relation of this with society. The condition of cultural diffusion depends on the interaction of human beings with this but he has not mentioned well about it. He became unable to study about different unique cultures of the community and the relation of different cultures among each other. How much the culture among each other? How much the culture differs in a course of time? and how culture goes on changing with the lapse of time in also not mentioned well in his study?

5. Diffusionist Perspective of G. Elliot Smith to Analyze Society and Culture

A. Diffusionist Interpretation of Smith

Among different theoretical perspectives to interpret and analyze diffusionist theory, British diffusionist perspective is one of the main interpreter of this is taken E. Smith among other several. Smith born in 1871 and died in 1937, who was an important person to take main as the process of diffusion for the development of culture. He has got chance to say for the long time in the Egypt in the process his profession. At that stay he studied about the culture. He was influenced much by the cultural development construction of Egypt. He worked for the long time in Cambridge University as an Australian surgeon and professor. He was influenced much by the complex culture and diffusion process of it of ancient Egypt. Because of which he forwarded his study with great interest about ancient Egyptian civilization.


He has mentioned in his books about the development process of civilization and the importance of the role of ancient Egypt in this regard, further than this he has mentioned about how and why the civilization and culture extended all over the world.

While he went to Britain and other European countries after long time of the study of the civilizations, cultures and cultural fossils there is Europe after this, he took ancient Egypt as the origin place of temples, pyramids, pagodas etc. of other countries he made a conclusion that the civilization was started from ancient Egypt and that was diffused through the means of diffusion to the other countries. The assumption of him about ancient Egypt as the cultural cradle was based on the pyramids, pagodas, temples and cultural elements as similar to the art an culture of Ancient Egypt that of about 400 years B.C. to the other countries. These civilizations and cultures of Ancient Egypt were diffused in Europe, America, Africa and Asia too. In this published book (In the Beginning the Origin of Civilization) has mentioned few assumption about the diffusion of culture. The diffusionist theory of Smith has been based on these assumptions, these are as:
  1. Man is uninventive and hence culture rises only at exception all favorable circumstances. 
  2. Such circumstances existed only in Ancient Egypt. 
  3. Civilization in naturally diluted when it spread to outpost. 
On the basis of these three assumptions Smith developed diffusionist theory. According to him human nature itself is of imitative attitude. Humans want to copy and use the existed culture and things rather than to innovate new things. The proof of it is that the culture, art civilization etc. of ancient Egypt were followed by the human beings the origin of culture is the consequence of the importance of favorable environment. The environment was only there in Egypt. In this process, he analyzed the emergence and development was only there in Egypt. In this process, he analyzed the emergence and development of agricultural land, development of shops, establishment of small industries, art, script, literature, social system, development of city, worship, religion, law, marriage, family, culture, music etc of Ancient Egypt were the consequences of favorable environment but gradually these extended to the other places of the world. These cultural elements emerged and developed spontaneously because of the favorable environment historically diffused to the other places. For this process the imitative nature of human beings helped much. Likewise, culture and civilization emerge at a time in favorable environment and diffuse over the world. In this process, in the main form of civilization and culture which are today in the world are not similar to the civilization and culture which are today in the world are not similar to the civilization and culture of Ancient Egypt from where these started/emerged. For these also the same rule of change after a course of time is applied, it is the logic of him.

Smith has evaluated highly the civilization of Ancient Egypt and further he has taken Egyptian only the founders of civilization and culture. Likewise, in the communities societies on which there is great impact of the civilization of Ancient Egypt are gone the cultures and civilization of Egypt. For these societies, he has given adjective of civilized society. On the other side, the societies which are out of the influence of Ancient Egyptian civilization and culture are taken these societies as uncivilized and savage societies according to the evaluation of him. He has forwarded the logic that the societies on which there is no influence of Ancient Egyptian civilization and culture are full of the negative cultures of negative cultures are developed there. Moreover, Smith has found that the societies on which there is no influence of Ancient Egyptian civilization and culture are illiterate and people of these societies are taken natural humans according to the analysis of him.

B. Strength

Smith and other British diffusionists developed an assumption that to understand culture and society we should understand the diffusion process. This emerged as new perspective in anthropology. And this perspective helps to understand different forms and processes of culture. The interpretation of Boas helps to understand about the fact that how and why culture emerges and diffuses to the other places. On the other side, he has mentioned Egypt as favorable place and environment for the emergence of culture. The new assumption which he developed as culture and civilization go ahead with emergence, diffuse, dilute and decline. That the new assumption helped to understand real condition of society and culture and further than this it helped to understand society through his perspective of change. 

C. Weaknesses of British Diffusionists

  1. Culture is not the subject that emerges on a specific place and time, therefore, Ancient Egypt only cannot be taken as cultural cradle. There is no any fact to prove it. 
  2. The analysis of British diffusionists is so narrow line. Ancient Egypt may be a place of the origin of culture among several places. The civilizations which we understand today weren't only originated from Egypt. 
  3. Smith has given name as uncivilized societies to those societies which are not out of the influence of the civilization and culture of Egypt. This matter is not accepted by other anthropologists. Culture depends on its understanding and types of adaptation. It never be categorized as civilized and uncivilized. On the other side, for the origin of culture different places of the world may be responsible and useful. On the basis of it multi-culture formulates. 
  4. Smith has been mentioned only the list without interpretation and analysis of interrelation of culture on the basis of archeological facts. 
  5. There is lack of scientific interpretation and analysis about cultural diffusion. 
  6. Culture never be followed and copied. Culture develops in the context of the development of historical events. Imitation can only be a means of the development of culture. Culture independently can reject in any place of the world. 
  7. The analysis of British diffusionist is bias, narrow, limited, insufficient and unscientific. 
  8. There is no any explanation about cultural complexity. 
  9. According to lewis, British diffusionist highlighted at the end and declined at first. The cause of it is that their theory regarding to cultural diffusion wasn't based on scientific analysis. 
  10. Without the explanation of basic elements of culture, external figures such as pyramid, temple etc. are emphasized, which remains incomplete.


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