ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on October 18, 2015

G.Elliot Smith, an Egyptologist was the person who made this theory of diffusionism. It states that the social change takes place due to diffusion of cultures from one to the other. Smith says that around 3000 B.C unusual conditions produced a great spurt in cultural development among the people of Nile valley, agricultural techniques were rapidly improved, geometry improved, metal work and top making processes were evolved, a new and effective political orders were devised which spread through the Mediterranean to all people of the world.

Smith says that the inventiveness of the Egyptians of that period was the cause of social change in various societies of the world. To validate his theory, Smith tried to find cultural similarities between early Egyptians and people as far removed in space and time. He found satisfactory evidences.

The new ideas for inventions may come not only from different parts of the same social heritage, but also from different cultures. The transference of culture traits from one area to another or from one part of culture to another part is called diffusion.

In any given area the number of locally invented elements is only a small traction of the total culture. This fact is shown in a vivid manner by Linton. Most of the social heritage of colonial America was brought there from England, Spain and other European Countries. England and France derived much of their culture from Italy. Italy in turn, borrowed from the Greeks. Egypt has been shown to be greatly indebted for her culture to the valley of the Euplanates. These has been a vast amount of borrowing of culture by one region from another.

The concept of cultural log was first given explicit formulation by W.F.Ogburn in his book social change. He distinguished between 'material' and 'non-material' culture. When changes occur in the 'material' culture, there is turn stimulate changes in the 'non material' culture, but the rate of adoption of material changes are more faster than non-material cultures. Hence, an imbalance exists between the two and the adoption of non-material cultures lag behind.

In India, the new technology was associated with alien domination and incurred widespread resistance. When Gandhi and his followers clung to the old ways of spinning and weaving and pottery making, it is obvious that their revolt was animated not so much by a low for the older techniques as by a desire to maintain the culture associated with them. The people of the Western world also been subjected to the sudden impact of new technology on their elder culture, but for them the technology is indigenous and neither imported nor imposed. Hence, there has been, on the whole, a readiness to adopt and to advance the new devices. Everyone acknowledges that there is an intimate connection between our beliefs and our institutions, our valuations and our social relationships. All cultural changes involve social change.

In order to appreciate how cultural change stimulates social change, it is very desirable that we should develop methods of tracing or measuring culture trends. This is a hard task than the measurement of technological change, since the better reveals itself in concrete and comparable embodiments. But many aspects of culture are exclusive and intangible. It is relatively easy to trace change in the arts and in externalized sizes, such as these of architecture, decoration and dress. It is not difficult to trace changes in the range of opinions that register themselves through such devices as voting. It is less easy to study the changes in the ideas that cluster round the everyday life, the popular philosophies the notions of authority, the doubts and the certitudes, the fear and the hopes of men.

Thus diffusion of culture within society and from one society to another has been a great source of cultural and social change in every society.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dilipchandra12 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dilip Chandra 

      5 years ago from India

      Thank you medicinefuture for the kind comment :)

    • medicinefuture profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice done dear.Cultural diffusion is at the roots of collective unconscious behavior of mankind. The wonderful source of cultural diffusion is our mythology. voted up

    • Rob Winters profile image

      Rob Winters 

      6 years ago

      Whilst familiar with this concept i'd never actually heard of this term.We're at an age were (barring some form of apocolypse) this process will only become more and more rapid and obvious.Up & Interesting.

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Here's a term I've not heard of before but you cover it quite nicely in your hub. I'm wondering if such important inventions as the wheel got transferred this way, or did folks independently discover that in different cultures. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for explaining and illustrating the term "diffusionism" - more or less social change resulting from cultural change. I think we experience it and appreciate it, especially in the US. No we can give it an acceptable name.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)