Culture L. Kroeber understood as universal, common human phenomenon; In other words, the creation and existence of culture initially accompanies mankind. He was interested in the question the behavior of civilization in the culminating point of some aspects of cultural activities. He writes in his book Configurations cultural growth” which analyzes various forms of cultural activities, philosophy, science, philology, sculpture, painting, drama, literature, music – and, accordingly, characterizes their development and characteristics in different countries , civilizations, nations. As remarked AL Kroeber, this is not the most fundamental form of cultural activity, but they are easier to analyze, while changes in development, such as technology or the economy as a whole is less clear.
In order to explain the dynamics of cultural change caused these modalities, AL Kroeber introduces the concept of “model”, which means some configuration or structure, and raises a number of questions about the nature of the relationship of culture and different models under which it developing. This concept is close to the term “cycle” which, according to his interpretation, is a shock wave or within a certain growth or civilization. Cycle – a reverse movement during suspension culture after.”
However, it is recognized that the term “cycle” Despite trying to avoid the connotations associated with it, because the term “model” is crucial for its research.
Models are plural, each of them different features inherent development, which gradually promoted it to their limits. In addition, models with improved properties and outdated to be borrowed and repeat. Any significant cultural achievement involves commitment to a certain set of cultural models. In uniform and well certain cultures (civilizations) configuration growth and decline can be quite clear; Moreover, the cultures may be several climaxes. Every culture researcher regarded as a certain unity of differentiated components, coordination or breach of which leads to the rise and decline phases. Any model is gradually depleted, and before culture will climb to a new high achievements, it must survive the crash and reconstruction models – this is due to variations in the development of civilization. In the transitional period before breaks prevailing cultural model there is a condition in which the potential is the possibility of further streamlining. Cycles of civilization much like business cycles, providing a number of successive repetitions of phases of success and failure in economic or industrial model Dine civilization.” Often just when a model was realized and attained saturation, it becomes clear limitations and attempts to change or expand it. In this kind of vibrational culture led to a pause, perhaps redistribution of energy and change direction, so after the interval growth resumed again in a slightly modified and expanded form. If the peak of the model has already passed such a lull, or retreat, does not occur, then more noticeable, signs of stress and fracture model. Show that in all cultures consist of certain phases of development, which are not subject to strict laws.
American researcher tried to exhaustively cover the entire story, but only took away some facts among the public to justify their approach.
In addition to western analyzes patterns formed in the Indian, Chinese, Arabic and other cultures. According to observations AL Kroeber, over the last three millennia India has experienced two periods of prosperity: the first period, which lasted about five centuries BC, focused around the name of the Buddha and is or traditional; second – with a long historical period rise. In Chinese culture AL Kroeber There are also two phases: historical; in the first phase laid the foundation of the cultural patterns that developed in the second phase. For the Japanese culture is characterized by borrowing values of Chinese culture and its development indicated fewer ups and downs than usual. Regarding the impression of the culture of continuity that arises because nominal since prehistoric times country rules only dynasty; However, in this culture AL Kroeber sees four recovery. In his observations, the Egyptian civilization experienced four times the rise and decline within the same cultural model until reduced.