New book: Cultural Selection

Agner Fog (
Tue, 23 Mar 1999 11:35:15 +0100

From: (Agner Fog)
Subject: New book: Cultural Selection
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 11:35:15 +0100

Just published:
Agner Fog: Cultural Selection
Dordrecht: Kluwer 1999.

This is an interdisciplinary treatise giving a comprehensive overview of
cultural selection theory, the history of the theory, overview of selection
mechanisms, and many examples.

Cultural selection theory is broader than memetics, because it includes
selection processes that can not be expressed in terms of information units.
The examples in the book include selection processes that can be expressed in
terms of memes, as well as selection processes that can not.

Cultural selection theory challenges traditional sociology by its superior
ability to explain the irrational, unplanned, or unwanted aspects of a culture.

The new cultural r/k theory demonstrates a causal connection between the
peacefulness or bellicosity of a society and its cultural expressions:
political ideals, discipline, philosophy, morals, art, and music.

The book examines examples from many different aspects of culture, including:
- the history and evolution of religions
- political history
- economic competition
- the spread of myths, stories, beliefs, jokes, etc.
- witchhunts and moral panics
- the role of mass media in social change
- sexual behavior and the development of sexual morals
- art, music, dance, clothing
- play, games, sport
- political consequences of the theory

Excerpts from the book can be seen at

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)