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Innovation in Cultural SystemsContributions from Evolutionary Anthropology$
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Michael J. O'Brien and Stephen J. Shennan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013338

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013338.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Technological Innovations and Developmental Trajectories: Social Factors as Evolutionary Forces

Technological Innovations and Developmental Trajectories: Social Factors as Evolutionary Forces

Chapter:
(p.216) (p.217) 13 Technological Innovations and Developmental Trajectories: Social Factors as Evolutionary Forces
Source:
Innovation in Cultural Systems
Author(s):

Valentine Roux

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262013338.003.0013

This chapter describes technological innovation, developmental trajectories, and modes of social organization. It addresses the technological inventions and their order and mode of development as well as the possible role of the individual in the differential occurrences of inventions. It analyzes the mechanisms underlying innovation and fixation processes. It suggests that technological evolution is made up of both continuous and discontinuous innovations. This chapter shows that in farmer-pastoralist cultures, when length of learning times imposed restrictions, new technical tasks developed in closed systems instead of open systems, thereby directly contributing to societies' growing complexity.

Keywords:   technological innovation, developmental trajectories, social organization, technological inventions, fixation, technological evolution, continuous innovation, discontinuous innovation, closed systems, open systems

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