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An analysis of any part of the social system must be firmly rooted in a framework that outlines the whole system and the interrelationships of the various parts. Building on classical social theory, this volume proposes an original and comprehensive systems theory of sociocultural stability and change, which combines fundamental ecological relationships with social structures and culture. Relationships and concepts developed by Marx, Weber, Malthus, Spencer, and Durkheim are explained and synthesized into a coherent perspective, which is used to examine multiple institutions in modern industrial societies.
The author argues that recent changes in the economy, the family, higher education, the political system, cultural ideas, and ideologies are interrelated and rooted in massive changes in population size and industrial processes. By systematically relating the analysis of these sociocultural phenomena to the whole and to one another this volume presents a framework that can serve to organize and integrate many diverse theories, insights, and much empirical information into a comprehensive worldview.
- Table of Contents
PrefaceIntroductionSociocultural MaterialismSociocultural EvolutionStructures of AuthorityEconomic RationalizationThe Decline of CommitmentFactual RegularitiesThe Widening GyreThe New IdeologyPossibilitiesReferencesIndex
Against the main current of the societal sciences, here is a book that returns us to the classical view that societies and cultures can best be understood as entities whose parts fit together to form systems.