use
of
metaphors
in
social

science
analyses:
the
example
of

      evolu5onary
theories

            Dr
Abid
Mehmood

   ...
Outline

1.  Metaphors:
need,
uses,
samples

2.  Organic
metaphors

3.  Evolu5onary
theories:
Histories,
components

4.  E...
what
is
a
metaphor?

can
be
described
as:

•  A
figure
of
speech

•  An
analogy

•  A
model

•  An
extended
simile


to
refl...
why
do
we
need
a
metaphor?

•  A
heuris5c
device
(to
approach
a
solu5on)

•  A
process

cri$cisms

•  Uncri5cal,
Intui5ve,...
…some
examples

•  The
Anatomy
of
a
Revolu5on
(Brinton,
1938)

  –  cyclic
pa]erns
of
fever
and
chill
to
define
major

    ...
•  Plate
Tectonics,
used
to
define
current

   structural
crisis
(Patsy
Healey)

•  Quantum
City
(Arida,
2002),
using
Quant...
organic
metaphor
                             


     Social‐cultural
interac5on

• 
     Development
of
norms,
habits,
pr...
evolu5onary
‘metaphor’
                               

                   in
social
sciences
                            ...
evolu5onary
theories:
a
survey

conducted
by
Sanderson
(1997)


•  Evolu5onary
theories
are…

  –  fundamentally
sound 
 
...
evolu5on

 
“…curious
aspect
of
the
theory
of
evolu$on
is
that

  everybody
thinks
that
he
understands
it!”
–
Jacques
Mono...
etymology
of
evolu5on

•  Biology

   –  Ini5al
use:
Schwammerdam
1669,
Haller
1744

   –  Theory
of
Pre‐forma5on
(Bonnet
...
history
of
evolu5onary
thought
                               


•  Greek
philosophers

•  German
scholars
Herder,
Lessing...
•  ‘Principles
of
Poli5cal
Economy’
–
Malthus

   (1798)


•  ‘Principles
of
Geology’
–
Charles
Lyell
(1830)

•  Compara5v...
theories
of
evolu5on:
Lamarckism

•  First
comprehensive
theory
of
evolu5on
in
1809

•  Representa5ves
of
a
species
underg...
theories
of
evolu5on:
Darwinism

•  Four
principles
of
evolu5on:

  –  Varia5on

  –  Heredity


  –  Natural
selec5on:
di...
Time
period

                  Key
concepts
                         Main
contributors

1850‐1870

       ‐
Social
evolu5o...
history
of
evolu5onary
thought
in

            social
sciences
                          

1.
1850s‐1870s

   –  Social
ev...
history,
contd.
                                 

4.
1930s‐1940s

   –  Historical
pa]erns

   –  Social
and
cultural
evo...
history,
contd.
                                

6.
1970s‐1980s

   –  Rou5nised
behaviour

   –  Evolu5on
of
cultures

 ...
key
components
of
evolu5onary
metaphor
                                     


•  Variety

   –  inherited
characteris5c

...
•  Natural
selec5on

   –  altera5on
in
Composi5ons
&
characteris5cs

   –  borrowed
from
Newtonian
physics/complex
system...
evolu5onary
metaphors
in
SS

Dynamic
interac5on
of
variety,
heredity,
natural

   selec5on,
and
adapta5on
provides

   met...
cultural
evolu5on

     As
an
evolving
system

• 
     Not
analogous
to
biological
evolu5on

• 
     Childe,
on
four
key
c...
evolu5onary
economics
                            

•  Veblen
(1898):


  –  idle
curiosity,
cumula5ve
causa5on,
rela5ve

...
social
evolu5onary
theory

      
“the
fiCest
are
not
the
physically
strongest,
nor
the

  cunningest,
but
those
who
learn
...
community
dynamics
                           

•  Evolu5on,
social
aggrega5on
and
interac5on

  –  micro‐level:
individua...
•  Complex
systems

  –  complexity
theory:
physical,
social
and
natural

     sciences

  –  a
reac5on
to
mechanis5c
and
...
factors
of
crea5vity
&
interac5on

1.    Reciprocity

2.    Redistribu5on

3.    Exchange

4.    Solidarity

5.    Associa...
1.  Reciprocity

  –  generalised,
balanced
and
nega5ve
reciprocity

2.
Redistribu5on

  –  top‐down,
collec5on/distribu5o...
3.
Exchange

  –  the
missing
link
between
physical
and
social

     sciences

  –  opera5onal,
decisional,
and
integra5ve...
types
and
func5ons
of
‘selec5on’
                               


‘the
processes
of
“rejec$on
–
and
the

 occasional
acceptance
of
alterna$ves
–
[…]

 with
prohibi$ons,
obstacles
and
heal...
cri5cisms
                             

weaknesses
in
evolu5onary
analogies
to:

•  Address
structural
aspects,
especiall...
but…

various
SS
disciplines
have
already
addressed

  these:

  –  evolu5onary
anthropology
on
the
understanding

     of...
In
a
nutshell…

                              

•  Evolu5onary
theory
can
be
considered
exclusive
of

   biology

•  Has
c...
Selected
References
                                        

     Arida,
A.
(2002)
Quantum
City,
Oxford:
Architectural
pr...
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Use Of Metaphors In Ss

  1. 1. use
of
metaphors
in
social
 science
analyses:
the
example
of
 evolu5onary
theories
 Dr
Abid
Mehmood
 Abid.Mehmood@ncl.ac.uk


  2. 2. Outline
 1.  Metaphors:
need,
uses,
samples
 2.  Organic
metaphors
 3.  Evolu5onary
theories:
Histories,
components
 4.  Evolu5onary
metaphors
in
social,
economic,
 cultural
studies
 5.  Cri5cisms
 6.  Summary

  3. 3. what
is
a
metaphor?
 can
be
described
as:
 •  A
figure
of
speech
 •  An
analogy
 •  A
model
 •  An
extended
simile
 to
reflect
the
complexity
of
an
idea…

  4. 4. why
do
we
need
a
metaphor?
 •  A
heuris5c
device
(to
approach
a
solu5on)
 •  A
process
 cri$cisms
 •  Uncri5cal,
Intui5ve,
Interpre5ve
 BUT
 •  Consequences
are
more
than
scien5fic
 •  Wider
social
cultural
implica5ons
 
should
be
used
carefully,
e.g.
‘reproduc5on’
to
 describe
social
processes
(Sayer,
1992)

  5. 5. …some
examples
 •  The
Anatomy
of
a
Revolu5on
(Brinton,
1938)
 –  cyclic
pa]erns
of
fever
and
chill
to
define
major
 poli5cal
revolu5ons
in
US,
France,
UK
and
Russia
 •  Dance
(Janesick,
1994)
 –  warm
up,
exercise
and
cool
down
periods
to
 define
qualita5ve
research
design
decisions
 •  A
‘func5oning
specific’
(Stake,
1994)
 –  an
integrated
system
analogy
to
define
case
study
 research

  6. 6. •  Plate
Tectonics,
used
to
define
current
 structural
crisis
(Patsy
Healey)
 •  Quantum
City
(Arida,
2002),
using
Quantum
 Physics
to
discuss
urban
design

 •  Fractal
Ci5es
(Ba]y
and
Longley,
1994),
using
 Fractal
Geometry
to
understand
urban
form.


  7. 7. organic
metaphor 
 Social‐cultural
interac5on
 •  Development
of
norms,
habits,
prac5ces
 •  Human
agency
 •  Community
dynamics
 • 
  8. 8. evolu5onary
‘metaphor’ 
 in
social
sciences 
 three
streams:
 1.
Evolu5onary
theories
adapted
from
biology
(e.g.
 sociobiology,
of
Wilson,
1980)
 2.
Biological
concepts
combined
with
social‐cultural
 thought
(Meme$cs,
Dawkins,
1976)
 3.
Build
independent
social
evolu5onary
theories
 (‘constella5ons
of
communi5es’,

Sahlins
1960)
 2
and
3
are
preferred,
especially
in
social
science
context

  9. 9. evolu5onary
theories:
a
survey
 conducted
by
Sanderson
(1997)

 •  Evolu5onary
theories
are…
 –  fundamentally
sound 
 
 
 
3%
 –  seriously
flawed 
 
 
 

 
 
38%
 –  sound
in
principal,
but
need 
 
47%

 improvement 
 
 
 

 percep5ons
and
poten5als…

  10. 10. evolu5on
 
“…curious
aspect
of
the
theory
of
evolu$on
is
that
 everybody
thinks
that
he
understands
it!”
–
Jacques
Monod
 (Dawkins
1976:
19)
 •  One
of
the
problems
is
the
word
‘evolu5on’
 itself
 Biology?
Philosophy?
 Development?
Dynamics?
 More
diverse
set
of
approaches…

  11. 11. etymology
of
evolu5on
 •  Biology
 –  Ini5al
use:
Schwammerdam
1669,
Haller
1744
 –  Theory
of
Pre‐forma5on
(Bonnet
1762)
 –  Ontogeny:
development
of
a
single
organism
 –  Phylogeny:
development
of
species
(or
group)
 •  Philosophy

 –  Evolvere:
unfold.
Direc5onal
ac5vity
 –  Revela5on
or
working
out
of
an
idea
(17th
cent.)
 –  Unrolling
of
scroll.
Prewri]en
book
being
read‐off

  12. 12. history
of
evolu5onary
thought 
 •  Greek
philosophers
 •  German
scholars
Herder,
Lessing,
Goethe,
and
 Kant
laid
philosophical
grounds
for
modern
 evolu5onism
 •  Kropotkin
(1902)
introduced
the
no5on
of
 ‘mutual
aid’

  13. 13. •  ‘Principles
of
Poli5cal
Economy’
–
Malthus
 (1798)

 •  ‘Principles
of
Geology’
–
Charles
Lyell
(1830)
 •  Compara5ve
and
diachronic
linguis5cs
 
“We
find
in
dis$nct
languages
striking
homologies
due
to
community
of
 descent,
and
analogies
due
to
a
similar
process
of
forma$on…
A
language,
like
 a
species,
when
ex$nct,
never…
reappears”

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
–
Darwin
(1859:
422)

  14. 14. theories
of
evolu5on:
Lamarckism
 •  First
comprehensive
theory
of
evolu5on
in
1809
 •  Representa5ves
of
a
species
undergo
constant
 ‘transforma5on’:
 –  Purposeful
behaviour
or
desire
for
change
 –  Inheritance
of
acquired
characters
 •  Social‐cultural
transmission
 •  Meme5cs
(Dawkins,
1976)
 •  Environment
as
the
agent
of
change

  15. 15. theories
of
evolu5on:
Darwinism
 •  Four
principles
of
evolu5on:
 –  Varia5on
 –  Heredity

 –  Natural
selec5on:
direc5onal,
disrup5ve
 –  Struggle
for
existence
 •  Ar5ficial
selec5on?

  16. 16. Time
period
 Key
concepts
 Main
contributors
 1850‐1870

 ‐
Social
evolu5onary
theories
 ‐
Herbert
Spencer
(1872)
 ‐
Modern
anthropology
(kinship
 ‐
Lewis
Morgan
(1877)
and
Edward
 studies;
cultural
anthropology)
 Tylor
(1871,
1878)
 1880‐1900
 ‐
Organic
solidarity
 ‐
Emile
Durkheim
(1893)
 ‐
Mutual
aid
as
a
factor
of
evolu5on
 ‐
Petr
Kropotkin
(1902)
 1900‐20
 ‐
Evolu5onary
nature
of
economics
 ‐
Alfred
Marshall
(1898)
 ‐
Ins5tu5onal
economics,
habits
of
 ‐
John
R.
Commons
(1897;
1931)
 prac5ce,

Evolu5onary
economics

 ‐
Thorstein
Veblen
(1898,
1914)
 1930‐40
 ‐
Historical
pa]erns
 ‐
Childe
(1936;
1943;
1951)
 ‐
Social
and
cultural
evolu5onism
 ‐
Leslie
White
(1945;
1949;
1959)
 ‐
Cultural
ecology
 ‐
Steward
(1949;
1955;
1977)
 ‐
Evolu5onary
sociology

 ‐
Parsons
(1951;
1966;
1971)
 ‐
Socio‐economic
development
 ‐
Schumpeter
(1934)
 1950‐60
 ‐
Evolu5onism
as
major
perspec5ve
 ‐ Disciples
of
White
and
Steward:
 in
culture
and
anthropology
 ‐ 
Service
(1962),
Sahlins
(1960;
2005)
 ‐
Social
stra5fica5on
 ‐
Gerhard
Lenski
(1966;1970)
 ‐
Evolu5on
and
economic
behaviour
 ‐
Armen
Alchian
(1950)
 1970‐80
 ‐
Rou5nised
behaviour
 ‐
Nelson
and
Winter
(1982)
 ‐
Evolu5on
of
cultures
 ‐
Boyd
and
Richerson

(1985)
 ‐
Evolu5on
and
social
behaviour
 ‐
Tim
Ingold
(1986)
 ‐
Meme5c
theory
 ‐
Richard
Dawkins
(1976)
et
al
 1990
–
present
 ‐
Social
evolu5onism
 ‐
Sanderson
(2005,
1995)
 ‐
Evolu5onary
and
ins5tu5onal
 ‐
Hodgson
(1988;
1993),
Wi]
(1993;
 economics
 2003),
Vromen
(1995)
 ‐
Wider
interdisciplinary
works

 ‐
various
authors

  17. 17. history
of
evolu5onary
thought
in
 social
sciences 
 1.
1850s‐1870s
 –  Social
evolu5onary
theories
 –  Modern
anthropology
(kinship;
cultural
anthropology)
 2.
1880s‐1900
 –  Organic
solidarity
 –  Mutual
aid
as
a
factor
of
evolu5on
 3.
1900‐1920s
 –  Evolu5onary
nature
of
economics
 –  Ins5tu5onal
economics,
habits
of
prac5ce
 –  Evolu5onary
economics


  18. 18. history,
contd. 
 4.
1930s‐1940s
 –  Historical
pa]erns
 –  Social
and
cultural
evolu5onism
 –  Cultural
ecology
 –  Evolu5onary
sociology

 –  Socio‐economic
development
 5.
1950s‐1960s
 –  ‐
Evolu5onism
as
major
perspec5ve
in
culture
and
 anthropology
 –  ‐
Social
stra5fica5on
 –  ‐
Evolu5on
and
economic
behaviour

  19. 19. history,
contd. 
 6.
1970s‐1980s
 –  Rou5nised
behaviour
 –  Evolu5on
of
cultures
 –  Evolu5on
and
social
behaviour
 –  Meme5c
theory
of
cultural
evolu5on
 7.
1990s‐
Present
 –  Social
evolu5onism
 –  Evolu5onary
and
ins5tu5onal
economics
 –  Wider
interdisciplinary
works

  20. 20. key
components
of
evolu5onary
metaphor 
 •  Variety
 –  inherited
characteris5c
 –  diversity
as
engine
of
evolu5onary
process
 –  innova5on
 •  Heredity
 –  transmission
of
characteris5cs
 –  environment
 –  habits
of
thought,
habits
of
prac5ce,
rou5nes

  21. 21. •  Natural
selec5on
 –  altera5on
in
Composi5ons
&
characteris5cs
 –  borrowed
from
Newtonian
physics/complex
systems?
 –  environmental
condi5ons
 –  crea5on
and
procrea5on
 •  Adapta5on
 –  Inheritable
 –  coopera5on
and
selec5on
 –  Environment
 –  history

  22. 22. evolu5onary
metaphors
in
SS
 Dynamic
interac5on
of
variety,
heredity,
natural
 selec5on,
and
adapta5on
provides
 metaphorical
basis
to
understand:
 •  Cultural
evolu5on
 •  Evolu5onary
and
ins5tu5onal
economics
 •  Social
evolu5onary
theory

  23. 23. cultural
evolu5on
 As
an
evolving
system
 •  Not
analogous
to
biological
evolu5on
 •  Childe,
on
four
key
components
 •  Sahlins,
on
general
and
specific
evolu5on
 •  Social
Darwinism
 •  Memes
 •  –  units
of
cultural
transmission
 –  Cri5cisms
about
meme5c
theory



  24. 24. evolu5onary
economics 
 •  Veblen
(1898):

 –  idle
curiosity,
cumula5ve
causa5on,
rela5ve
 stability,
adapta5ons
 •  Nelson
and
Winter
(1982):
Rou5nes
 –  organisa5ons
‘remember’
by
doing
 –  rou5nes
as
‘genes’
 –  rou5nised
behaviour
 –  rou5nes
as
units
of
economic
change

  25. 25. social
evolu5onary
theory
 
“the
fiCest
are
not
the
physically
strongest,
nor
the
 cunningest,
but
those
who
learn
to
combine
so
as
mutually
to
 support
each
other,
strong
and
weak
alike,
for
the
welfare
of
 the
community”
 
 
 
 
 
(Kropotkin,
1902:
2).
 
 •  Durkheim’s
(1893)
mechanical
and
organic
 solidari5es
 •  Kropotkin’s
‘mutual
aid’
 •  Parsons’
(1951)
‘societal
community’
and
‘social
 system’.
 •  Sahlins’
(2005)
on
social
progress
and
structures

  26. 26. community
dynamics 
 •  Evolu5on,
social
aggrega5on
and
interac5on
 –  micro‐level:
individual
interac5on
and
families
 •  knowledge,
beliefs
and
customs
 •  inter‐related
subsystems,
memes
 –  meso‐level:
communi5es,
firms
and
organisa5ons
 •  culture
and
ins5tu5onal
change,
habits
of
thought
and
 prac5ce,
rou5nised
behaviour
 –  macro‐level:
societal
structure
 •  Systeic
solidarity,
mutual
aid,
and
social
networks

  27. 27. •  Complex
systems
 –  complexity
theory:
physical,
social
and
natural
 sciences
 –  a
reac5on
to
mechanis5c
and
reduc5onist
 approaches
 –  systems
thinking
 –  social
interac5on

  28. 28. factors
of
crea5vity
&
interac5on
 1.  Reciprocity
 2.  Redistribu5on
 3.  Exchange
 4.  Solidarity
 5.  Associa5on

  29. 29. 1.  Reciprocity
 –  generalised,
balanced
and
nega5ve
reciprocity
 2.
Redistribu5on
 –  top‐down,
collec5on/distribu5on

 –  at
all
levels
of
social
aggrega5on

  30. 30. 3.
Exchange
 –  the
missing
link
between
physical
and
social
 sciences
 –  opera5onal,
decisional,
and
integra5ve
exchange
 (Polanyi,
1957)
 4.
Solidarity
 –  unity,
harmony,
cohesion
 5.
Associa5on
 –  common
purpose

  31. 31. types
and
func5ons
of
‘selec5on’ 

  32. 32. 
‘the
processes
of
“rejec$on
–
and
the
 occasional
acceptance
of
alterna$ves
–
[…]
 with
prohibi$ons,
obstacles
and
healing”
can
 be
too
slow
to
be
no$ced
 contemporarily’
(Braudel,
1987:
31)


  33. 33. cri5cisms 
 weaknesses
in
evolu5onary
analogies
to:
 •  Address
structural
aspects,
especially
social
structure
 over
5me
and
space;
 •  Analyse
network
rela5onships;
 •  Differen5ate
purposeful
behaviour
or
specific
social
 and
cultural
features
of
human
behaviour;
and,
 •  Forecast
the
pa]erns
and
cycles
of
development

  34. 34. but…
 various
SS
disciplines
have
already
addressed
 these:
 –  evolu5onary
anthropology
on
the
understanding
 of
the
development
of
social
structures;
 –  evolu5onary
sociology
on
social
networks;
 –  Mayr’s
‘programme
based
behaviour’
 –  game
theory
and
transporta5on
networks
 analyses
to
reduce
uncertainty

  35. 35. In
a
nutshell…
 
 •  Evolu5onary
theory
can
be
considered
exclusive
of
 biology
 •  Has
contributed
to
social,
economic
and
cultural
 analyses
 •  Offers
tools
to
understand
mul5‐level
reproduc5on
 dynamics
and
change
 •  Cri5cisms
can
be
addressed
through
interdisciplinary
 learning
 •  Helpful
in
analysing
social
interac5on,
networks,
 systems,
and
development.

  36. 36. Selected
References 
 Arida,
A.
(2002)
Quantum
City,
Oxford:
Architectural
press
 •  Brinton,
C.
(1938)
The
anatomy
of
a
revolu$on.
Englewood
Cliffs,
NJ:
Pren5ce
Hall.
 •  Braudel,
F.
(1987)
Grammaire
de
civilisa$ons.
Paris:
Les
Edi5ons
Arthaud.

 •  Dawkins,
R.
(1976)
The
selfish
gene.
Oxford:
Oxford
University
Press.

 •  Janesick,
V.
J.
(1994)
'The
dance
of
qualita5ve
research
design:
Metaphor.
methodolatry,
and
 •  meaning',
in

Denzin,
N.
K.
and
Lincoln,
Y.
S.(eds)
Handbook
of
qualita$ve
research.
London:
 Sage,
pp.
209‐219.
 Kropotkin,
P.
A.
(1902)
Mutual
aid,
a
factor
of
evolu$on.
Porter
Sargent
Publishers

 •  Mehmood,
A.
(2008)
Analysing
socioeconomic
development
on
small
islands
from
an
 •  evolu$onary
perspec$ve.
thesis.
Newcastle
University.
 Nelson,
R.
R.
and
Winter,
S.
G.
(1982)
An
evolu$onary
theory
of
economic
change.
Belknap
 •  Press
of
Harvard
University
Press:
Cambridge,
MA.

 Polanyi,
K.,
Arensberg,
C.
M.
and
Pearson,
H.
W.
(eds.)
(1957)
Trade
and
market
in
the
early
 •  empires:
economies
in
history
and
theory.
New
York:
The
Free
Press.

 Sahlins,
M.
D.
and
Service,
E.
R.
(eds.)
(1960)
Evolu$on
and
culture.
Ann
Arbor:
The
University
 •  of
Michigan
Press

 Veblen,
T.
(1898)
'Why
is
economics
not
an
evolu5onary
science?'
Quarterly
Journal
of
 •  Economics,
12,
pp.
373‐397.



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