Ogburn Cultural Lag

William Fielding Ogburn, "Cultural Lag"

Main concept(s)

  • remembered for : “cultural lag”
  • distinguish “material culture” from nonmaterial “adaptive” culture. Cf. here Marx on material and ideal, economic base vs. cultural superstructure.
  • Example: forests. Our cultural practices of planning, limiting cutting, etc. lag behind our ability to deforest. Cf. contemporary discussions about fossil fuels and conservation and alternatives. Image is that things have to get pretty bad before people change their values and practices.
  • Like Thomas, a healthy dose of “should” (vs. “is”) here.
  • Nice essay intro at 433.1-3:

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