social Darwinism

(redirected from Social Darwanism)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.

social Darwinism

The application of Darwinism to the study of human society, specifically a theory in sociology that individuals or groups achieve advantage over others as the result of genetic or biological superiority.


(or so′cial) Dar′winism,

a 19th-century doctrine that the social order is a product of natural selection of those persons best suited to existing living conditions.

social darwinism

A term associated with Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) who applied Darwin’s theory of evolution to the social sphere. This postulated that natural selection allows those members of society who are well adapted to their social environment to flourish while the others fall by the wayside.