Culture level theory

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The culture level theory is a model designed by the geographer Hans Bobek to differentiate between economic and social stages of human development based on certain criteria.


Bobek divides the development of mankind into six stages:

  1. Wildlife prey level (adaptation of humans to nature with use of natural food sources)
  2. Level of specialized gatherers, hunters and fishermen (specialization and division of labor, start of stockpiling)
  3. Level of clan farming and shepherd nomadism (planned food production, livestock farming)
  4. Level of hierarchically organized agricultural society ( class society , dependent farmers)
  5. Level of older urbanism and pension capitalism
  6. Stage of productive capitalism , industrial society and the younger urban system


  • Hans Bobek : The main stages of social and economic development in a geographical perspective. In: The Earth. Journal of the Society for Geography in Berlin. 90th year 1959, ISSN  0013-9998 , pp. 259-298.