Animism Naturalism

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Animism Naturalism


Animism means belief in souls. Edward B. Tylor considers it the oldest form of religion. He argues that animism derives from man’s attempts to answer two questions, ‘What is it that differentiates between a living body and a dead one?’ and ‘What are those human shapes that appear in dreams and visions?’ To make sense of these phenomena, early philosophers invented the idea of the soul. A soul is a soul that leaves the body temporarily during dreams and visions, and permanently at death. Once invented, the idea of spirits was applied not only to humans, but also to many aspects of the natural and social environment. Thus animals were invested with a soul, as were man-made objects such as the bowler of the Australian Aborigines. Tylor argues that religion, in the form of animism, arose to satisfy man’s intellectual nature, to satisfy his need for death, dreams, and visions.

Naturism means the belief that the forces of nature have supernatural power. F. Max Müller considers it the oldest form of religion. He argues that naturalism arose out of man’s experience of nature, especially

The influence of nature on human emotions. Wonder, terror, wonders and miracles happen in nature, such as volcanoes, thunder and lightning. Amazed by the power and wonders of nature, early man transformed abstract forces into personal agents. Man humanized nature. The force of the wind became the life of the wind, the force of the sun became the life of the sun. Where animism seeks the origin of religion in man’s intellectual needs, extremism seeks it in his emotional needs. Naturalism is man’s response to the effect of the power and wonder of nature on his senses.

From the origins of religion, nineteenth century sociologists turned to its development. Many plans were developed, Tyler being one example. Tylor believed that human societies developed through five major stages, starting with simple hunting and gathering bands, and ending with the complex nation state. Similarly, religion developed through five stages, which corresponded with the development of society. Animism, the belief in a multitude of spirits, constituted the religion of the simplest societies; monotheism, the belief in a single supreme god, constituted the most complex religion. Tylor believed that each stage in the development of religion arose out of preceding stages and that the religion of modern man, ‘can be traced largely to only one god’.

A runaway product of an old and uncivilized system’.

There are many criticisms of the evolutionary approach. The origins of religion are lost in the past. The first indication of a possible belief in the supernatural dates from about 60,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that Neanderthals in the Near East buried their dead with flowers, stone tools, and jewelry. However, theories of the origin of religion can only be based on speculation and intelligent guesswork. Evolutionists such as Tylor and Muller came up with plausible reasons for why certain beliefs were held by members of particular societies but this does not necessarily explain why those beliefs originated in the first place. Nor can it be argued that all religions are of the same origin. In addition, the clear, precise stages of the development of religion do not correspond to the facts. As Andrew Lang points out, many of the simplest societies have religions based on monotheism, which Tylor claimed was limited to modern societies.


Durkheim and Sociological Functionalism

In the field of religion during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was believed that religion was the result of civilization. In other words, religion only emerged from civilization.

Such an understanding of religion was given by Malinowski, E.B. Tyler, and others. He pointed out that the primitive tribes had definite ideas about the origin of religion. His approach was functional. In fact, origin or dharma is explained from two points of view. One functionalist and the other dialectical i.e. Marxist. The religion, which originated from the aborigines, says that when the Trobriand Islanders went to sea to fish, they faced many unexpected dangers. This prompted the tribals to express their belief in magic and the supernatural. Because there was a need for religion, their emerging religion. In this lesson we will discuss the origin of religion from the point of view of functionalism. Here we will examine the development of religion from the perspective of Durkheim and Max Weber.





Origin of Religion: Durkheim’s Thoughts

The 18th century was the century of evolutionary theory. Not only Durkheim and Max Weber, Karl Marx also contributed to the theory of evolution.

The functionalist perspective examines religion in the context of the needs of society. Functional analysis is primarily concerned with the contribution of religion to meeting these needs. From this perspective, society requires some degree of social cohesion, value congruence, and harmony and integration between its parts. The function of religion is the contribution it makes to the fulfillment of such functional prerequisites—for example, its contribution to social cohesion.





  Sacred And Profane


In Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, first published in 1912, Émile Durkheim presented perhaps the most influential explanation of religion from a functionalist perspective (Durkheim, 1961).

Durkheim argued that all societies divide the world into two categories: the sacred and the profane (profane). Religion is based on this division. It is a unified system of beliefs and practices related to sacred objects, i.e. to say separate and forbidden things. It is important to realize that:

By sacred thing one should not understand only those individual objects which are called deities or souls; A rock, a tree, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word anything can be sacred.

There is nothing about the special properties of the pebble or the tree that makes them sacred. So sacred things must be symbols, they must represent something. To understand the role of religion in society, a connection has to be made between sacred symbols and what they represent.




Durkheim used the religion of various groups of Australian Aborigines to develop his argument. He saw their religion, which he called totemism, the simplest and most basic form of religion

Tribal society is divided into many clans. A clan is like a large extended family whose members share certain duties and responsibilities. for exam

Clans have a rule of exogamy—that is, members are not allowed to marry within the clan. Clan members have a duty to aid and assist each other: they join together to mourn the death of one of their members and to avenge a member who has been wronged by a member of another clan. There are

Each clan has a totem, usually an animal or a plant. This totem is then represented by figures made of wood or stone. These drawings are called churingas. Churingas are usually at least as sacred as the species they represent and sometimes more so. Totem is a symbol. It is a symbol of the clan. This is his flag; It is the mark by which each gotra distinguishes itself from all others. However, the totem is more than the churinga it represents – it is the most sacred object in tribal rituals. Totem is the ‘outer and visible form of the totemic principle or god’.

Durkheim argued that if the totem symbolized God and society simultaneously, is it not because God and society are one?

Thus he suggested that in worshiping God, people are actually worshiping society. Society is the real object of religious worship.

How does humanity come to worship the society? Sacred things are considered superior in dignity and power to profane things, and especially to humans. ‘In relation to the sacred, humans are inferior and dependent. This relationship between humanity and sacred things is precisely the relationship between humanity and society. Society is more important and powerful than the individual. Durkheim argued that primitive man regards society as something sacred because he is completely dependent on it.

But why doesn’t humanity just worship society? Why does it invent a sacred symbol like the totem? Because Durkheim argued, it is easier for a person to ‘see and direct his feelings of awe towards a symbol than towards something so complex as a symbol.’

Religion and the ‘collective conscience’

Durkheim believed that social life is impossible without the shared values and moral beliefs that make up collegiate reason. In their absence, there would be no social order, social control and no social solidarity or co-operation. In short, there would be no society. Religion reinforces the collective conscience. The worship of society reinforces the values and moral beliefs that form the basis of social life. By defining them as sacred, religion gives them greater power to guide human action.

This attitude of respect for the sacred is the same attitude that applies to social duties and obligations. In worshiping society, people actually recognize the importance of the social group and their dependence on it. In this way religion strengthens group unity: it promotes social cohesion.

Durkheim emphasized the importance of collective worship. The social group comes together in religious rituals filled with drama and reverence. Together, its members express their belief in common values and beliefs. The unity of the society is strengthened in this highly charged atmosphere of collective worship. Members of society express and understand the moral bonds that unite them.

According to Durkheim, the belief in gods or spirits, usually the focus for religious ceremonies, arose from belief in the ancestral spirits of feared relatives. The worship of the gods is actually the worship of the souls of the ancestors. Since Durkheim also believed that souls represent the presence of social values, the collective conscience is present in individuals. It is through individual souls that the collective conscience is realized. Since religious worship includes the worship of spirits. Durkheim again concluded that religious worship is actually the worship of a social group or society.




Durkheim’s criticism

Durkheim has explained the origin of religion from tribals. The tribals taken by him were just like any other tribals. Most sociologists believe that Durkheim exaggerated his case. While believing that religion is important for promoting social cohesion and strengthening social values, he would not support his view that religion is the worship of the society. Durkheim’s views on religion are more relevant to small, illiterate societies, where there is a close integration of culture and social institutions, where work, leisure, education and family life merge and where members share a common belief and value system. . His ideas are less relevant to modern societies, which have many subcultures, social and ethnic groups, specialized organizations and systems of religious beliefs, practices and institutions. As Malcolm Hamilton states, the emergence of religious pluralism and diversity within a society is, of course, something that Durkheim’s theory has great difficulty in dealing with (Hamilton, 1995).

Durkheim may also exaggerate the extent to which the collective conscience pervades and shapes people’s behaviour. in day

Ed, Sometimes-Religious Belief Social Values

with and can be overridden. Malcolm Hamilton makes this point convincingly:

The fact that our moral sense can lead us to go against the majority, society, or authority suggests that we are not as dependent on society or on beings as Durkheim claimed. Society, powerful as it is, does not have the primacy that Durkheim believed it to have. Ironically, it often seems that religious beliefs can have a much greater influence and hold on the individual than society because it is often out of religious beliefs that individuals will fly in the face of society or retreat from it. Will try to , as has been the case with many communal movements.




Malinowski’s perspective on the origin of religion

Like Durkheim, Malinowski uses data from small-scale non-literate societies to develop his thesis on religion. Many of his examples are taken from his fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands off the coast of New Guinea. Like Durkheim, Malinowski sees religion as reinforcing social norms and values and promoting social solidarity.

However, unlike Durkheim, he does not view religion as reflecting society as a whole, nor does he view religious rituals as worship of society itself. Malinowski identifies specific areas of social life to which religion is concerned, and to which it is addressed.

These are situations of emotional tension that threaten social cohesion.

religion and life crisis

Worry and stress disrupt social life. Situations that generate these emotions include life’s crises such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death. Malinowski notes that in all societies these life crises are surrounded by religious rituals. He views death as the most disruptive of these events and argues that:

The existence of strong personal attachments and the fact of death, which of all human phenomena is the most disturbing and disorganizing to man’s calculations, are probably the main sources of religious beliefs.

The religion deals with the problem of death in the following way. A funeral ceremony expresses the belief ion immortality that denies the fact of death and brings comfort to the bereaved. Other mourners support the bereaved by their presence at the ceremony. This comfort and support checks the emotions that death produces and moderates the stress and anxiety that can disrupt society. Death is socially devastating because it removes a member from society. Social group units to support the bereaved at a funeral ceremony. This expression of social solidarity reconnects the society.



Religion, Prediction and Control


A second category of events – undertakings that cannot be fully controlled or predicted by practical means – also create stress and anxiety. From his observations in the Trobriand Islands, Malinowski noted that such events were surrounded by rituals.

Fishing is an important subsistence practice in the Trobriands. Malinowski observed that in the calm waters of the lagoon ‘fishing by the method of poisoning is easy and absolutely reliable, giving abundant results without danger and uncertainty.’ However, beyond the barrier reef in the open sea lies danger and uncertainty: a storm can result in loss of life and the catch is dependent on the presence of shoals of fish, which cannot be predicted. in the lagoon, where man can rely entirely on his own knowledge and skill; There are no rituals associated with fishing, whereas rituals are performed before fishing in the open sea to ensure a good catch and for the safety of the fishermen. Although Malinowski refers to these rituals as magic, others argue that it is more appropriate to consider them as religious practices.

Again we see that rituals are used for specific situations that generate anxiety. Rituals reduce anxiety by providing a sense of confidence and control. Like funeral ceremonies, fishing rituals are social events. The group unites to deal with situations of stress, and hence group cohesion is strengthened.

So we can summarize that Malinowski’s distinctive contribution to the sociology of religion is his argument that religion promotes social solidarity by dealing with situations of emotional tension that threaten the stability of society.




Malinowski’s Criticisms


Malinowski has been criticized for exaggerating the importance of religious rituals in helping people cope with situations of stress and uncertainty. Tambiah (1990, discussed in Hamilton, 1995) for example, suggests that magic and elaborate rituals are associated with the cultivation of taro and yams on the Trobriand Islands. This is related to the fact that taro and yama are important because men must use them to pay off their sisters’ husbands. Men who fail to do so show that they are incapable of meeting important social obligations. So these rituals are only for prestige in that society.

re concerned with maintenance and do little to strengthen cohesion or deal with

Uncertainty and danger. A particular function or effect that occurs in religion, sometimes mistaken for a feature of religion in general.

Giving this type of religion, A. van Gennep pointed out that technique and theory are inseparable. He also said that theory without practice (or technique) becomes metaphysics but technique, based on various principles, becomes science.

Of all aspects of culture, Meret was deeply interested in the study of primitive religion and therefore, wrote a classic book on “The Threshold of Religion” published from London in 1909. In this book he discussed various aspects of primitive religion. Also modified the concept of religion and animism of Tylor. He argued that instead of “soul” as suggested by Tylor, “nature” guides the destiny of primitive people and hence, he coined the term “animatism” to understand primitive religion.

After the publication of this book, Morgan now occupied an important position in America and came to be regarded as a full-fledged evolutionist. In 1868 he wrote a paper, “A Conjectural Solution to the Origin of the Classificatory System of Relation • Ship”, which was published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In this paper he traced the history of the human family through fifteen stages of evolution from primitive sexual promiscuity to modern monogamy. From this time Morgan began working on the reconstruction of world history rather than American Indians alone. Thus, he finally produced his monumental work “Ancient Society” Research in the Lines of Hume on Progress from Savage Barbarism to Civilization”, which appeared in 1877.

This book brought Morgan an international name and fame and he was universally recognized as an evolutionist. In this book he has divided the entire history into three main phases. (a) vandalism,

(b) barbarism and (c) civilization. All these three stages were further linked with economic and intellectual development. According to Morgan, Vandalism was the period before pottery;



Barbarism began with the Ceramic Age and civilization followed the invention of letters and writing.

The “restatement” of the evolutionary scheme that he gives in his book “Ancient Societies” can be reproduced below:



  1. The older (or lower) period of living wildly on fruits and roots, the invention of speech, etc.
  2. Middle wild fishing and use of fire.
  3. The later (or upper) wild bow and arrow developed.
  4. The art of Old (or Lower) barbarian pottery developed.
  5. Middle barbarism Animal husbandry, cultivation of maize, plants by irrigation, stone-brick buildings etc.
  6. The later (or upper) barbarians invented the process of smelting iron ore, the use of iron tools, etc.
  7. The civilization invented the phonetic alphabet and writing.



Regarding these periods, Morgan further wrote that “each of these periods has a distinct culture and exhibits a way of life, more or less, special and peculiar in itself” (1877).

Among continental evolutionists, who talked about various aspects of the origin of culture, special mention may be made of Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815–1877), Adolf Bastian (1826–1905), Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Friedrich Engels. Is. (1820–1895).

The classical evolutionists of the nineteenth century mainly talked about the OR laws, but their conclusions and approaches were modified by the evolutionists of the twentieth century in the light of their new researches and methodological approaches to the origin of culture and are therefore referred to as the new is referred to as. Evolutionary. Among those neo-evolutionists, three scholars can be specially mentioned. v. Gordon Childe (of England), U.S.A. Julian Steward and Leslie White, who have made significant contributions to the study of cultural evolution and their research, have recently shed a new light on the various dimensions of the origin of culture.



VV Gordon Childe described development in terms of three major events. Invention of food-product ion, urbanization and industrialization. Thus, analyzing the transitions that occurred under the influence of these “revolutions”, Childe presented a holistic view of the evolutionary process, delineating its common factors.

  1. Gordon Childe classified the stages of cultural development with reference to archaeological findings as follows:
  2. No. Archaeological Period Cultural Development
  3. Paleolithic Savagery
  4. Neolithic barbarism
  5. Dwaparayuga high barbarism
  6. Early Bronze Age Civilization

Julian Steward’s contribution to the study of cultural evolution is unique, as he first gave a comprehensive typology of evolutionists based on his methodological studies of different cultural regions of the world. Steward states that cultural evolution can be broadly defined as the search for cultural regularities or laws and further states that there are three specific ways in which evolutionary data can be handled.

First, the unilinear development: •

Classical evolutionists of the nineteenth century developed a formulation that

special sons

creations and disposed them in stages of a universal sequence.

Second, universal development:

An arbitrary label to designate modern revivalist unilinear evolution, where universal evolutionary

With culture instead of cultures. Third, multiline development:

Those who believed in multiple evolutionary sequences took a somewhat less ambitious view than the other two.




Theory Of Cultural Functionalist Thought


Bronisław Kaspar Malinowski

In the early part of the twentieth century, functionalism became widely accepted as a new and important anthropological method. It was new only because it involved a systematic principle, but the notion of function itself was quite old. Although Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte used “functions” as a major methodological device in creating their new science of positivism. The concept of the writings of Émile Durkheim (1858–1917)



As functionalism took on greater methodological importance, he is widely regarded as a functionalist by both sociologists and anthropologists. , Durkheim’s writings, especially his book “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (1912), in which he summed up his entire sociology with special reference to the work of primitive religion, influenced two rising stars, Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown. Did. British anthropologist, who later became the champion respectively of the functionalist and structuralist schools of thought



Malinowski’s Early Training:


1) Bronisław Kaspar Malinowski was born on 7 April 1884 in Krakow, Germany and graduated on 16 May 1942 at Yale, U.S.A. He died in He was educated in Germany and did his Ph.D. Received. in physics and mathematics in 1908. After working under Karl Bücher and Wilhelm at the University of Leipzig in Germany, Malinowski came to England in 1910. Degree School of Economics from which he obtained his D.Sc degree in 1916.

2) In 1913-14 Malinowski delivered one of the Special Topics Lectures at the London School of Economics. He taught in the Department of Sociology, giving short courses on “Primitive Religion and Social Differentiation” and Social Psychology. In 1914 he was awarded a fellowship largely with the help of C.G. Seligman to work among the tribes of New Guinea.

3) In 1914 Malinowski left England for field work and traveled through Australia with other anthropologists going out to a meeting of the British Association in Melbourne.


4) It was here that he first met Radcliffe-Brown and received from him what he later described as valuable hints about fieldwork. Arriving in New Guinea in September 1914, he spent nearly four weeks waiting at Post Moresby for a boat to the east, and took advantage of this period to work with Seligman’s former informant Ahuia Owa. After a few months with Melu, Malinowski returned in May 1915 and continued his field work until its completion in 1918.

5) In October 1918 Malinowski returned from the Trobriand Islanders and lived for some time in Melbourne, where he married Elsie Mason, daughter of Sir David Mason, who was then Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. After returning to Europe, Malinowski lived for a year in the Canary Islands, where, in April 1921, the preface to his first book, “The Argonauts of the Western Pacific”, was signed. He again took up a position as an occasional lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1921–22, and this time he lectured mainly on the sociology and economics of certain island communities. In 1922-23 he was appointed lecturer in social anthropology. Thus, from 1923 onwards London was an academic home for Malinowski for nearly two decades, through which he traveled widely from here, especially during the summer months. In 1924, Malinowski was appointed Reader in Anthropology at the University of London.



6) Malinowski was a very well traveled scholar and lectured in many universities of the world like Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Oslo, Cornell, Harvard etc. In 1926 he L. Visited the United States for the first time at Seligman’s invitation. Rockefeller Memorial. He returned to Cornell in 1933 to deliver the Messenger Lecture and again in 1936 as a representative of the University of London to the Harvard Centenary Celebrations, where he was also awarded an honorary D.Sc from Harvard University. Malinowski was appointed professor of anthropology at Yale University in early 1924, but died before he could take up the position.

7) Malinowski’s Contribution to Field-work Methods:

8) Malinowski undertook a total of three expeditions to Guinea to study the Trobri and the islanders, which have been regarded as a turning point in the history of field expeditions in world anthropology. Malinowski’s contribution to field methods can be summarized under the following points.

9) I Language: Malinowski has emphasized that the researcher should collect data through the medium of native language and for this the researcher should

10) Long time c through d data gathering

One must learn the language of the natives before working in the Han area – must work among them.

11) II. Malinowski’s Field Methods:

12) Malinowski actively sought his information using a number of techniques. In the study of the Trobriands he used, what he later called, a somewhat complex method, involved the collection of statements of normative and concrete cases, genealogies, censuses of villages, maps, and especially to show the ownership of garden land. The preparation of symbolic tables or charts for hunting and fishing privileges, description of rituals and technical activities in association with the harvest and the pattern of gift exchange along with its social, ceremonial and economic aspects.

13) III. Malinowski’s Ethnological Diary:

14) Malinowski raised the problem of the “personal equation” of the observer. However, he believed that it can be taken into account to some extent by taking into account the general and specific as well as the duration of the field work. He also insisted that an adequate investigation of a culture demanded not only documentation of aspects of social structure, description of behavior and emotional interactions, but also original observations on actions, their beliefs and ideas. He considered it the duty of an anthropologist. To carefully and honestly describe his credentials and mistakes made in the field in an ethnographic diary.

15) Malinowski Concept of Culture:

16) One of Malinowski’s stimulating contributions to anthropological thought was his concept of culture. Malinowski defined culture in 1931 and stated that “culture consists of inherited artifacts, goods, technical processes, ideas, habits, and values”. Social organization is also included because he argued that “it cannot really be understood as part of culture” (Malinowski. 1931).



17) When we analyze Malinowski’s use of the term more closely it becomes necessary to distinguish between the various intellectual preoccupations that were subsumed for him under the term culture. First, he considered the concept of culture as a tribal microcosm, functioning as a whole, which, as Fortes (1953) has pointed out, was a new and provocative idea when it was first propounded by Malinowski.


18) Secondly, with this idea went Malinowski’s customs, institutions and beliefs, which became part of each culture, with the different shades of meaning he gave the word “use”. Third, Malinowski, like other sociologists and psychologists of his time, was preoccupied with the distinction between and between the biological and sociological heritage of the mean, and he identified the latter with the term culture from the outset.

19) Malinowski was of the opinion that a culture characteristic or feature, which is functionless, will not survive, and therefore no culture will exist. Malinowski argued that a culture trait should not be studied in isolation. As in society one quality is related to another quality. It needs to be studied in an integrated manner, which Malinowski calls integration theory.

20) Malinowski emphasized the study of “specific culture” rather than “culture”. Again, he suggested that a specific culture should be studied as an “integrated whole”. By “integrated totality” he meant that different aspects of a culture are related to each other.


21) Thus, culture was a unifying system for him. By integration he meant the interdependence of cultural traits. Society as an integrated group. For Malinowski, culture was a means that enabled man to maintain his biological existence. He recognized that nothing is loose within the culture; All cultural traits serve the needs of individuals in society, ie. The function of a cultural trait lies in the ability of members of a group to satisfy some basic or derived need.

22) Malinowski’s definition of necessity is very important. He says, ‘By necessity, understand the system of conditions in the human organism in a cultural setting, and both in relation to the natural environment, that are both sufficient and necessary for the survival of the group and the organism. A requirement is, therefore, a limited set of facts. Habits and their motivations, learned responses and foundations of organization must be organized so as to satisfy basic needs”

23) In this definition of need Malinowski emphasizes “the system of conditions in the human organism” when a series of “significant sequences” involve the satisfaction of certain biologically determined impulses. According to Malinowski these important sequences can be represented as follows:



Important sequences included in all cultures


(A) impulse (B) act (C) satisfaction


  • drive to breathe;
  • Gasping for air intake of oxygen elimination of CO.
  • Food satisfaction of hunger
  • Thrust absorption of liquid quenching
  • Restoration of sex-appetite conjunction muscle and nerve energy
  • Sleepy awakening with restored energy.


  • Relieve bladder pressure micturition stress
  • Avoid fear danger
  • R Comfort
  • Pain relief by effective action Return to normal
  • To suit various functions and satisfaction

These impulses refer to the dynamic basis of “human nature”, which is believed to belong to an individual organism. Again, this list of impulses only directly corresponds to the basic needs of man as an animal species, because at this level the concept of individual and collective survival is added to individual impulses.


  • Malinowski eventually produced a table of basic needs, which emphasized the total conditions necessary for the individual and the group of existence and only individual impulses.


  • Basic needs Cultural responses

o Metabolism Commissariat

o reproductive kinship

o physical comfort shelter

o Security Protection

o Movement Activities

o Development Training

o health hygiene


  • Personal impulses and basic needs can also be applied to other animals including sub-human primates. But man is a very special type of primate, and the special feature which he has acquired in the course of evolution has made possible the development of that specifically human form of biological adjustment which we call culture.



  • Culture, then biological existence is the value. Its adaptive character is partly due to the fact that although basic needs, shared with other animals, provide a “primary determinism”, the conditions of man’s life as a social animal impose a “secondary determinism”.


  • Malinowski defined it in terms of determinism. It is defined as “derived needs” or “compulsories”. These relate to the needs for the maintenance of cultural systems regulation of human behaviour, socialization and exercise of authority etc. According to Malinowski: “Reactions” include economic, social control , education, political organization etc.
  • Malinowski was of the view that an essential feature of human social life is that habit turns into custom, parental care into the deliberate training of the rising generation and impulses into values, Malinowski calls this the “integrated imperative”. And according to that, the key to this whole process of symbolism, which must have been present at the birth of the culture.
  • Thus, Malinowski’s needs uis. Primary, (or basic), derived and integrative, all levels emphasize the biological determinants of cultural activity and therefore provide a theory of analysis and comparison of universal validity.
  • Malinowski’s Theory of Methodology
  • The root meaning of Kriya is action or action. Every object has a function and, therefore, Malinowski was of the opinion that all cultural components have a function to perform, as explained by him while explaining the concepts culture and necessity.
  • Malinowski and his colleagues were of the opinion that a cultural trait, which is functionless, would not survive and therefore no cultural entity would exist.


  • One attribute of culture is integrated with the other and thus if one attribute is disturbed, it cripples the other. From this interpretation of Malinowski emerged the integration theory of culture. The functionalist approach, therefore, emphasizes the examination of institutional relations and is more of a unified description, as it is of what Malinowski called “invisible facts” of the principles of organization and their interrelationships.
  • Although Malinowski’s early writings do not show much interest in function, gradually, he developed his theory of function to make his explanation more scientific and hence he demonstrated his plan of action through a charter. Did.
  • That is, the purpose of the purpose of the society. According to Malinowski, the first objective of every society is its survival.


  • Thus, according to the Charter, every society consists of individuals who have a set of norms or values. Thus, according to Malinowski, these norms or values motivate the individual to have material mechanisms that create activities. And activities, according to Malinowski, lead to function. This is shown below:

Religion, though open to escape from emotional stress, but apart from these functions, it also makes a social contribution, as it helps in the maintenance of moral law and order, and “identifies the entire tribes as a social unit”. works towards. ,


Thus, Malinowski eventually linked psychological and social functions to biological functions, and this notion of function as meeting biological needs became the core of Malinowski’s functional theory.

Malinowski culture was adaptive, and concerned neither man nor man with the satisfaction of biological needs without the satisfaction of basic biological needs, which he called derived needs. In short, thus to understand these dimensions of culture, according to Malinowski, the theory of function must be applied. In other words, Malinowski created a very scientific framework for the study of the dynamics of culture through the theory of action.






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