Social Transformations / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $27.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 33%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $27.75   
  • New (7) from $40.07   
  • Used (4) from $27.75   


In Social Transformations: A General Theory of Historical Development Stephen K. Sanderson develops a general theory of social evolution and uses it to explain the most important evolutionary transformations in human history and prehistory. In this expanded edition Sanderson has added a discussion of the biological constraints acting on humans that have helped to push social evolution along strikingly similar lines throughout the world. The new discussion places the theoretical arguments of Social Transformations in the context of an even more comprehensive theory of human social behavior.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

History and Theory
Among much interesting recent work in historical sociology there has been nothing more ambitious than this book by sociologist Stephen Sanderson. . . . Whatever the future of 'evolutionary materialism' may be, Sanderson has done much to justify the enterprise of historical sociology and his work can be recommended without reserve to both sociologists and historians.
Canadian Journal Of History
The book provides even-handed, comprehensible accounts of the questions under dispute and of the contributions made by various synthesizers to resolution of those questions. As a historiographic and synthetic complement to a conventional world history, Social Transformations would serve teachers quite well.
Canadian Review Of Sociology and Anthropology
With this book Stephen Sanderson has presented a profound, richly detailed, and erudite analysis of worldwide social evolution over the past 10,000 years. . . . This comprehensive, authoritative and readable volume is a major contribution to the theory of societal development. I would strongly recommend this book for advanced courses on social change, comparative social systems, and historical sociology.
Canadian Journal of History
The book provides even-handed, comprehensible accounts of the questions under dispute and of the contributions made by various synthesizers to resolution of those questions. As a historiographic and synthetic complement to a conventional world history, Social Transformations would serve teachers quite well.
Continues the work Sanderson (sociology, Indiana U. of Pennsylvania) began with his 1990 by outlining an evolutionary interpretation of world history that he calls evolutionary materialism. He focuses on what appears to him the most important transformations in human history: the neolithic revolution, the origin of civilization and the state, and the transition from feudalism to capitalism that ushered in the modern world in western Europe and Japan. To the first edition, for which he mentions no date, he has appended an abbreviated account of how the theory can incorporate biological constraints; he intends to treat that more fully in the future. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847691883
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: EXPANDED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 494
  • Product dimensions: 1.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen K. Sanderson is professor of sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Evolutionary Material: A General Theory of Historical Development Chapter 2 The Neolithic Revolution Chapter 3 The Origin of Civilization and the State Chapter 4 Agrarian States and their Evolutionary Dynamics Chapter 5 The Capitalist Revolution and the Beginnings of the Modern World Chapter 6 The Evolution of the Modern World, I: The Expanding and Evolving Modern World-System Chapter 7 The Evolution of the Modern World, II: The Emergence of the Institutions of Modernity Chapter 8 The Question of Progress Chapter 9 The Evolving Future Chapter 10 Theoretical Reprise
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)