Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Definition of a Civilization


  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 Wayne

Wayne

    Military Commissioner (Jiedushi 节度使)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 98 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nam Yong
  • Interests:East &amp; Southeast Asian history &amp; culture, European history and culture, Indian history culture, Ancient Near East, genetics and origins of people, classical music, horticulture!<br /><br />But I'm an amateur, so pardon me if I say stupid things!
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    none

Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:42 AM

A textbook definition of civilization (Brian Fagan, People of the Earth)
− Largely based on V. Gordon Childe's definition, below
− Civilizations have the following characteristics (although not all must be present):
− Urbanized society, based on cities
− Large population in the region
− that is, a large number of people interacting with each other
− Note that this is a separate point from the presence of cities. One small city
presumably isn't sufficient.
− Very complex social organization
Emergence of civilizations F 2006 / Owen: Defining city, state, and civilization
− that is, many different statuses, degrees of wealth or power, social roles, occupational
specialties, etc. creating a complex web of varied social interactions
− Symbiotic economy (i.e. composed of interdependent parts)
− the economy is based on centralized accumulation of capital and social status
− that is, concentration of wealth and status in a few hands or institutions - a wealthy
class or aristocracy
− through tribute and taxation
− that is, there is a means of extracting surplus from some people to support the others
who are concentrating it
− tithes (religious offerings that are more or less mandatory due to social pressure, and,
are usually standardized amounts or kinds) fit in this category, too
− allowing the support of hundreds or thousands of people who produce things or services
other than food.
− Long-distance trade
− Division of labor and craft specialization
− Advances toward record keeping, science, math, writing
− Monumental architecture

No doubt there are other lists....
My question is, how do we recornize a civilization as distinct from another?
For example, is Britain a separate civilization from France?
Or are they part of a same, shared civilization?

Similarly, are the Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese 4 distinct civilizations or they are part of the same Confucian civilization?
They certainly share many characteristics, but they are also clearly different in other aspects.
What are your thought?

#2 LYY

LYY

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
  • 1,518 posts
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Philosophy
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    I-Ching (Yijing 易经)

Posted 03 July 2009 - 02:11 AM

My question is, how do we recornize a civilization as distinct from another?
For example, is Britain a separate civilization from France?
Or are they part of a same, shared civilization?


with Bagua ... and so forth




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users