• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How have societies changed over the past 5,000 years? Welcome to the brief, manageable macro-sociology text that takes your students on a journey to answer this question.

This book, the only brief and affordable macro-sociology text available for undergraduates, describes 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. This book explores development through historical narrative and examines the globalization/development paradox through in-depth case studies.

Toward a Theory of Social Change
Toward a theory of social change

Throughout this book, I have been using an implicit model of how societies work. It is time to make it explicit. This model is based on a complicated general theory of society worked out in the 1950s by the American sociologist Talcott Parsons. Parsons went further than any other 20th-century social theorist in systematically exploring the relationship between economies, political systems, different types of social institutions, and cultures. He also combined an extensive knowledge of history with an awareness of the analogies between social systems and biological organisms. Though ultimately his theoretical writing became too convoluted and overly dependent on dated notions of biology and psychology, the basic model he developed can be simplified for the sake of clarity. Stripped of its excessive claims ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles