This introduction to social change covers the momentous and relatively recent changes that have occurred in the human condition, examining not only the major causes and conditions underlying our current situation, but also the main choices and options we face as we strive to shape our individual and collective futures. This edition of Social Change has been thoroughly updated and revised. Building on previous editions, the book introduces a social scientific approach to change, discusses the components of change and the factors driving them, examines change on the macro-level, then looks toward the future with a discussion of planned change. Most chapters explore societies of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and include comparative dimensions, especially along First, Second, and Third World lines. The engaging narrative traces several themes, such as the rise of capitalism and the socialist alternative, or civil rights movements in the United States and elsewhere, throughout the book. Social Change, Third Edition features a new discussion of the recent economic crisis and the interconnectedness of the global economy, new empirical data on globalization, and updated discussions of the concepts of evolution and altruism. It also incorporates the dramatic changes in India and China throughout the book.
Jay Weinstein's book is exceptionally thorough and covers the field of social change very nicely. It is particularly strong because of its comparative approach and includes a lot of useful historical material as well as succinct accounts of the major theoretical approaches to the subject. This new edition is not only an excellent textbook, but is worth reading for its own sake by anyone who wants to know more about how societies develop, change, and adapt.
Jay Weinstein is professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University. He is the author of numerous books, including Applying Social Statistics, serves as the editor for the journal Applied Sociology, and is a past president of the Society of Applied Sociology.
List of Boxes, Figures, and Tables
PART I The Study of Change
Chapter 1: The Social Scientific Perspective
Chapter 2: Social and Cultural Evolution
PART II The Components of Change
Chapter 3: Population Growth and Demographic Transition
Chapter 4: The Heritage and Dynamics of Culture
Chapter 5: Social Structures, Systems, and Processes
PART III The Engines of Change
Chapter 6: Social Movements: Concepts and Principles
Chapter 7: Movements and Revolutions in Context
Chapter 8: The Process of Technological Innovation
PART IV Change at the Macrolevel
Chapter 9: From Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft: The Urbanization of the Human Population
Chapter 10: A World Divided
Chapter 11: The Market, Capitalism, and Socialism
PART V Planned Change: Making Tomorrow's Society
Chapter 12: The Paradoxes of Development
Chapter 13: Democratic Planning and Applied Sociology
Chapter 14: The Political Economy of Globalization
About the Author