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 Modernization as a Form of Cultural 

Adaptation to the Environment...


Napoleon Wolanski

Fig. 20.1 : Proliferation of genus Homo to various ecosystems, including creation of urbicenoses. On the left — thousands of years of evolution, on the right — the number of past generations, and a form of adaptational changes. The generation is a unit of human evolutionary changes.

Fig. 20.2 : Model of biological adaptational changes in man to real and imagined environment, the role of culture, and results in structure of population.

Fig. 20.3 : The spiral of changes, as the inevitable consequences of man’s psychological and biological features. The cultural progress of man is an inherent nature of his species.

Fig. 20.4 : Expected and non-expected results of civilization ‘progress’. Aside expected positive effects, are mostly negative influences, the last should be greater than positive. In this situation are observed some feed-back actions resulting in limitation or correction of initial changes.

Fig. 20.5 : Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) in Poland in the post-war years against the background of annual national gross product (in percentage, in relation to its value of previous year) and the birth rate per 1000 persons. Numbers next to mortality curves show the differences between infant mortality in cities and in rural communities (in circles — increase of this difference in relation to previous year), shaded areas — critical period in history of Poland in 1946-91: economic drastic changes, social disturbances — increase of infant mortality rates and village-town differences.

Fig. 20.6 : Infant mortality in European countries in 1960, 1975 and 1985. Trends of changes are marked in four most typical Roman Catholic countries (Portugal = P, Poland = PL, Spain = Sp and Italy = I), and in three typical Protestant countries (Germany = D, England = GB and Sweden = S). Italy in these years reduced distance, and Spain broke borders between the two groups of countries.

Fig. 20.7 : Changes in infant mortality rate for all over Poland, for Polish towns, for Szczecin city and region, and variation (horizontal lines) for Polish provinces in 1949-91.

Fig. 20.8 : The expected life span at birth (in years) in men and women in Poland in 1931-91 in urban and rural areas, and percentage of population living in cities.

Fig. 20.9 : Changes in birth rate and death rate (per 1000 population) in Polish towns and villages in 1946-91.



Alexeeva T.I., 1986. Adaptativnye processy w celoveceskion populacijach. Izdat. Moskovskogo Universitieta, Moska.

Duda H., and Aleksandrowicz J., 1990. Entity of Civilizational Diseases. Unpublished manuscript.

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Wolanski N., 1989. Human Life and Culture: Dynamic Components of Ecosystems. Zygon 24 (4): 401-27.

———, 1991. Human Ecology and Problems of Demography. In Collegium Antropologicum, 15(1) 27-43.

———, Czarzasta T., Chung S., Tomonari K., and Tsushima S., 1992b. Family Types and Offspring Growth in Various Countries. II. Stature of Offsprings in Various Family Types in Japan and Korea. Studies in Human Ecology, in press.

———, Chung S., Czarzasta T., Dickinson T., Harada S., Liocheva V., Seiwa H., Tomonari K., and Tsushima S., 1992a. Family Types and Offspring Growth in Various Countries. I. Frequency of Various Family Types in Bulgaria, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Poland. Studies in Human Ecology, in press.

———, Chung S., Tsushima S., Tomonari K., and Czarzasta T., 1992c. Family Types and Offspring Growth in Various Countries. III. Regression of Offspring’s Stature in Relation to Parent’s and Family’s Factors in Japan and Korea. Studies in Human Ecology, in press.

———, Henneberg M., 1991. Natural Selection in Recent Man: An Interpretative Problem. In Studies in Human Ecology, 9, 275-93.


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