Annals of Science 53 (4):323-344 (1996)

The importation of Spencerism and Social Darwinism into Japan in the early Meiji era occurred against a background of rapid economic and industrial change which provoked widespread political unrest. This accelerated modernization was forced by Western demands for trade liberalization and the threat of Western imperialism. In this context, selected elements of Western scientific naturalism and liberalism could provide a prestigious ratification of élite agendas for the management of change, provided they could be made culturally recognizable. It is suggested that traditional and Western knowledge claims were combined by key Meiji intellectuals in such a way that the product, Meiji Social Darwinism, supplied both the prestige of Western scientific positivism and the familiarity conferred by traditional resources. The clear differentiation between the constituents which made up Meiji Social Darwinism enables us to identify the distinct cultural functions performed by each of these sets of resources. In this study, these cultural functions emerge as elements in an élite class strategy
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DOI 10.1080/00033799608560820
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References found in this work BETA

Herbert Spencer and Scientism.Harold Issadore Sharlin - 1976 - Annals of Science 33 (5):457-465.
Darwinism in Japan, 1877–1927.Eikoh Shimao - 1981 - Annals of Science 38 (1):93-102.

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