The Building Of Cultures By R. B. Dixon

989 WordsSep 28, 20164 Pages
Similarly, The Building of Cultures (by R. B. Dixon in 1928) began with the “lengthy dispute” regarding how one explained “alike cultural traits occurring in geographically separate areas” (1928, Dixon: 33; also 182s). “It could not be denied that every cultural quality was discovered or invented first. There was always necessarily a beginning, a first for all.” (1928, Dixon: 35). In the chapter “Discovery and Invention”, he takes note to separate creation and discovery (conception) according to “purpose”, suggesting the two occur as a sequence: (accidental) conception, then (purposeful) creation. He then goes on to discuss the factors of each in detail. Conception is made up of identification, opportunity, and imagination that is appreciated. Invention is either “directional” or accidental, distinguished as being an improvement or entirely new(He borrows from the sociologists H. S. Harrison and L. Bernard). The responsible factors were available knowledge, needs, opportunity, and genius. Finally, he goes on to discuss diffusion, step three in his sequence: Conceptualization > creation > dispersal. In this model, individuals discover or invent and the process “is unproductive and without result until others adopt it”. “Without duplicating beyond the inventor or discoverer, the new quality remains personal, an eccentricity, intriguing or entertaining, but not of great importance” (1928, Dixon: 59). Similar to Wissler’s separation between random and determined diffusion, Dixon

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