A basic principle of systems theory is that if we do not look at the whole of a system, we cannot see the connections between its various components. This article describes the author’s personal and research journey developing a new method of inquiry and a new theory of cultural evolution that takes into account the whole of our history (including prehistory), the whole of our species (both its male and female halves), and the whole of social relations (from politics and economics to family and other intimate relations). It reveals connections and patterns not visible using smaller data bases and casts a new, more hopeful, light on our past, present, and the possibilities for our future.

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Societal Contexts for Family Relations: Development, Violence and Stress | Raine Eisler (2016)

The effect of families on whether children do or do not flourish has long been recognized by psychology. However, families do not spring up in isolation from their social, economic, and cultural contexts. As the primary means of socialization, families have to prepare children to function in their larger cultural context. In other words, what we are dealing with is not a matter of simple causes and effects but of mutually supporting interactive systems dynamics.

Analyzing these interactive dynamics has been the focus of my multi-disciplinary cross-cultural historical study of human societies. (Eisler, 1987; 1995; 2000; 2007) This study led to the identification of two underlying cultural configurations that transcend conventional categories such as religious vs. secular, Eastern vs. Western, preindustrial vs. industrial, or rightist vs. leftist: the partnership system and the domination system.

No society is a pure domination or partnership system. However, as I will briefly develop in this chapter, the degree to which a society orients to either end of the partnership/domination continuum affects the kinds of beliefs and behaviors people consider normal or abnormal, moral or immoral, and even possible or impossible – with profound implications for whether or not children flourish. Read More

“Dominator” vs. “Partnership” Cultures: A Profound Re-Telling of Human History

Reproduced from: “Dominator” vs. “Partnership” Cultures: A Profound Re-Telling of Human History Jordan Bates Jan 14, 2015 “In sum, the struggle for our future is . . . the struggle between those who cling to patterns of domination and those working for a more equitable partnership world.” — Riane Eisler Recently, I’ve written a couple of… Read More

Watch “Riane Eisler; Transforming from a Domination to a Partnership Society” on YouTube

Published on Nov 17, 2017 Humans were, for much of early civilization, equal partners, without male domination. Then things changed, Male domination swept in with nomadic herders. Now, we need to take steps to get back to a partnership society and partnership economics. We discuss the difference between Patriarchy and domination.