social Darwinism

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Related to social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer, Social Gospel

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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in periodicals archive ?
Other contributors provide some superb insights into different aspects of this question: the role of the Prometheus myth, Aryan supremacy and Social Darwinism, breeding a new generation of supermen, the work of Leni Riefenstahl, the i mportance of the male body in Nazi art and mythology, the masculine foundation of the famous Nazi rallies and D.
Prominent biologists on the left, such as Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin, strongly rejected the idea that many patterns of human behavior have a basis in evolution, branding it unscientific and a reprehensible revival of 19th-century social Darwinism. The notion that much human behavior is genetically "hard-wired," immune to environmental influences, is unacceptable to many others.
In the wrong hands (and there were many), social Darwinism led to political quiescence and theories of black inferiority (Degler).
Burleigh demonstrates a shift from Enlightenment interpretations of the order as a civilizing and an educational force to the crudely patriotic Social Darwinism of Treitschke.
I support economic democracy and oppose the Social Darwinism of our free market system.
She cites cultural feminism as espoused by Addams and Ward; reform Darwinism (as contrasted with social Darwinism) shared with Ward and Englishman Patrick Geddes; and Fabian (as opposed to Marxist) socialism of Addams, Geddes, his student Arthur Thompson, and fellow English Beatrice and Sydney Webb.
The lines appearing in the above epigraph, published exactly one hundred years ago, remind us of what is often not considered in the difficulty of establishing social sciences in the world as a whole: first -- and as a question of priority -- disciplines had to fight the widely prevailing influence jointly held by evolutionism, "social Darwinism," and "biological sociology" at the end of the nineteenth century.
The tooth and claws of Social Darwinism have turned their attack to health care - and the national press corps has either ignored it or reported the attack so shallowly that it has had no impact.
Plessy was decided in an era when social Darwinism and the idea of racial superiority dominated intellectual discourse.
Part One contains excerpts from Darwin's Descent of Man and from Spencer and Huxley, contributors to the historical debate over 'Social Darwinism'.
Such differences of focus help to explain the variety of explanations that are offered for segregation and apartheid--whether it be class, or race, or economic interests of ideology, or social Darwinism or industrialisation or whatever.
Thus we have the textually groundless identification of Nietzsche's position in one chapter with Max Stirner's egoism, and in another with Social Darwinism. However, the key to Nietzsche's critique of morality lies not in egoism but in aestheticism.