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More About This Textbook


William Graham Sumner was an influential professor of sociology and politics at Yale College and president of the American Sociological Association from 1908 to 1909, and it was in this early classic textbook of sociology, first published in 1906, that he coined the term folkways, to denote the habits and customs of a society. He fully explores the concept here, examining their influence on:

· the struggle for existence
· labor and wealth
· slavery
· abortion, infanticide, and the killing of the elderly
· cannibalism
· sex and marriage
· blood revenge and primitive justice
· sacral harlotry and child sacrifice
· popular sports and drama
· education and history
· and much more.

American academic and author WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER (1840-1910) wrote numerous and varied books including Andrew Jackson as a Public Man (1882) and What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602067585
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER IV LABOR, WEALTH Introduction. — Notions of labor. — Classical and mediaeval notions. — Labor has always existed. — Modern view of labor. — Movable capital in modern society; conditions of equality; present temporary status of the demand for men. — Effect of the facility of winning wealth. — Chances of acquiring wealth in modern times ; effect on modern mores ; speculation involved in any change. — Mores conform to changes in life conditions ; great principles; their value and fate. — The French revolution. — Ruling classes; special privileges ; corruption of the mores. — The standard of living. 157. The topics treated in Chapter III — tools, language, and money — belong almost entirely in the folkways. The element of esteem for tools is sometimes very great. They are made divine and receive worship. Nevertheless, there is little reflection stimulated to produce a sense of their importance to welfare. Therefore the moral element pertaining to the mores is not prominent in them. When the moral element exists at all in regard to tools, language, or money, it is independent and rises to the conception of prosperity, its sense and conditions. There are notions at all stages of civilization about productive labor and wealth, as parts of the fate of man on earth and of the conditions of his happiness and welfare. At this point they take the character of a philosophy, and are turned back on the work, as regulative notions of how, and how much, to work. The mores of the struggle for existence are in those notions. From the time when men had any accumulated wealth they seem to have been struck by its effect on thecharacter of the possessor. The creature seemed to be stronger than the creator. Here ethical reflections began. They have been more actively produced since it h...
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