As an example, some part of society can progress only so much before such progress stagnates and it requires other parts of society to progress.
No matter how many different ways I search for it online, I can not find this concept I read in some article two years ago. Over time, I inquired about it amongst knowledgeable (in different subjects) friends and acquaintances of mine in real life. After asking another friend recently and having a tangential discussion, I was inspired to ask people online (and found this spectacular site!).
Off the top of my head as a weird analogy, the concept(s) I am inquiring for is essentially an abstract version of Liebig's Law of the Minimum ("growth is dictated not by total resources available, but by the scarcest resource", "yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient, whichever nutrient it may be.").
Semi-relevant concepts/answers I have received or found:
- Law of Diminishing Returns: "states that, at some point, adding an additional factor of production results in smaller increases in output."
- Post Structuralism: which argues that all knowledge is referential, because everything is known in reference to some other knowledge, not measured against a universal "truth".
- Commodification (of goods): the transformation of various things into objects of trade.
- Symbiosis: the biological term describing how two, independent, organisms benefit mutually from shared existence (there are likely many more ecological concepts potentially usable as analogies..)
- Effects of generalized symbolic media of exchange on institutional domains: Essentially, as described in this paper, different institutional domains (religion, family, economy etc.) operate using different kinds of "generalized symbolic media." These media are whatever is the central focus of an institution, so money for the economy, power for politics, love for family, etc. These different media vary in how much they influence the structure and ideology of other institutional domains. The more interdependent different institutional domains are, then the more we should expect one to influence the other.
- Lastly, apparently, how some of Marxist and Communist theory is actually based on what I inquire about??
In the weird analogy provided above, "growth" is described. However more fitting, and more specific, for this question would be "progress". Following this, it makes slightly more sense that by "parts of society" I am asking for abstract domains such as political, economic, culture, etc. Most importantly, I am asking for various theories or concepts, not necessarily anecdotal or historical examples. However, any similar concepts even partially within the confines of this question would be greatly appreciated!
[Note: I should recognize it took quite a bit of formulating (with prompting by fellow users) for a better question. Graciously, I now understand]