How Societies Change

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-27
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc

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An exploration of how societies have changed over the past five thousand years. The discussion focuses on the idea that industrial societies, despite their great success, have created a new set of recurring and unsolved problems which will serve as a major impetus for further social change.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Evolution and Early Human Societiesp. 1
Physical and Cultural Evolution: Differences and Similaritiesp. 1
Causes of Change in Early Societiesp. 10
From Collecting, Hunting, and Fishing to Agriculturep. 12
Reference Notesp. 16
Agrarian Societiesp. 17
The Invention of the Statep. 18
Class, Status, and Force: Increasing Inequality and Making It Hereditaryp. 22
Nomads, Migrants, and Other Raidersp. 25
Great Cultures: The Moral Basis of Agrarian Civilizationsp. 29
The Problem of Administration and the Cycle of Political Decay and Reconstructionp. 33
The Conservatism of Village Lifep. 40
The Demographic Cycle in Agrarian Societiesp. 42
The Potential for Rapid Innovation: The Importance of Peripheriesp. 46
The Limits of Analogy: Societies Are Not Species, and Cultural Evolution Is Not Biologicalp. 52
Reference Notesp. 55
The Rise of the Westp. 59
Europe's Ecological Advantagesp. 62
Religious Discordance and Political Stalemate: The Basis for Western Rationalizationp. 65
Science, Knowledge, and Exploration in China and Western Europep. 67
The Growth of European Empires and the Transformation of the Economyp. 71
Overcoming the Agrarian Population Cyclep. 72
The Invention of Nationalism and Its Consequencesp. 75
The Legitimation of Commerce: The Ideological Basis of the Industrial Revolutionp. 77
Reference Notesp. 80
The Modern Erap. 85
Industrial Cyclesp. 88
Internal and International Social Consequences of Modernization and Industrial Cyclesp. 97
Economic Class and Political Power in Modern Societiesp. 102
Political Ideologies and Protests: Two Centuries of Revolutionsp. 110
The Unending Effort to Adapt to Modernityp. 119
Ecological Pressures Persistp. 121
Reference Notesp. 123
Toward a Theory of Social Changep. 129
Why Change Occursp. 133
The New or the Old? The Paradox of Institutional Resistance to Changep. 139
Freedom or Control? The Dilemma of the Modern Erap. 141
Reference Notesp. 144
Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 155
About the Authorp. 165
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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