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.


(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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the book's title and the deftness with which he sketches the lineaments of Social Darwinism in its opening chapters, Hofstadter actually devotes more attention to the theory's critics than its proponents.
While the European term in this era is associated with social Darwinism, eugenics, female inferiority, and authoritarianism, this faction in India espoused social democracy, multiculturalism, the end of female suppression, and non-violent resistance to colonialism.
The failure of Reconstruction and the influence of social Darwinism legalized hierarchy in society and relieved the middle class from any responsibility for the rising inequality in industrial America.
New and reprinted essays discuss his critical reputation over the decades, and his work in terms of issues of modernism, his attitudes towards industrial labor, Social Darwinism, nature, science, and from a nationalist perspective, as well as his use of the metaphor of walking for enlightenment, his use of personification, his poems about death, and the background to his book North of Boston.
Here Giberson admits that Social Darwinism and its resulting eugenics programs have not been "a historical aberration," but a logical (although not inevitable) conclusion of natural selection.
This ideology, which discounts or minimizes human nature, is a reactionary result of the real abuses of social Darwinism of the past century and the pseudoscience of eugenics.
He traces how a justified skepticism toward Social Darwinism evolved into a sweeping denial that human nature has anything to do with heredity.
Impacted by Victorian notions of social Darwinism, xenophobia, militarism and jingoistic nationalism, professional (and even amateur) cricket evolved into a national competition among virile athletes whose professional lives depended upon their fitness in order to survive, much like English business and colonial forces.
But entrepreneurs face a kind of social Darwinism that can quash the fit as well as the unfit.
Story of an African Farm, a peculiar mixture of narrative realism, biblical allegory and social Darwinism, is wholly original.
Equating AmericaAEs obsession with zombies to a lack of hope and culture of despair, the author scrutinizes twenty-first century zombies on Wall Street and in political office who continue to promote authoritarianism and Social Darwinism, through which individuals and certain groups are considered disposable and easy prey.
Marginal symbols indicate such categories as legislation and legal cases, argument from design and Intelligent Design, the age of earth, and social Darwinism and eugenics.