Some thoughts on cultural transformation theory as a tool in historical research

13 Sep 2007

Riane Eisler’s cultural transformation theory challenges traditional approaches to historical interpretation. Her theory posits the view that history is the result of the interaction of two evolutionary trends. Firstly, there is the development of societies from primitive to complex organisational forms through phase changes. Secondly, there are cultural shifts between periodic attractors that are defined as androcratic (dominator) and gylanic (partnership) models which vie with each other for ascendance over substantial periods of time. The gylanic model appears to have represented the earliest forms of human social organisation. This theory provides a hermeneutical tool for investigating trends in history.