2013 . Social Science, Sociology . Frank L. Elwell
Macrosociology--the study of large-scale social structures andthe fundamental principles of social organization--was the styleof sociology practiced by the founders of the discipline. Today, thesocial theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, and HerbertSpencer (among others) are commonly studied as part of the history ofthe field, but, although the macrosociological approach that thesethinkers advocated is still employed, it no longer dominates thediscipline. Instead, sociologists typically adopt a narrower focus,specializing in areas such as social psychology, medicine, religion, orthe study of social stratification. Examining the bigger picture is atask often left to public intellectuals. Sociocultural Systems aims to reinstate macrosciology asthe heart of the discipline by demonstrating that both classical andcontemporary macrosociologists stand upon common ground. Focusing onthe broad issues that concerned the founders, Elwell addressesquestions such as: Historically, what factors accounted for the origin,survival, and evolution of sociocultural systems? Why were somesocieties more technologically advanced than others? What is the originof capitalism? What factors determine the allocation of goods andservices within and among societies? What effects do changes ingovernment and economic institutions have on communities? Elwell argues that, as evolution does for biology, themacrosociological paradigm offers an analytical strategy that can beused both to guide and prioritize research in all of the myriadspecialties within sociology and to lay forth an orderly body ofknowledge for students. Clearly articulating important sociologicalprinciples, Sociocultural Systems provides a criticalunderstanding of social institutions and issues, while also furnishinga framework for possible solutions to the perennial social crises thatare part and parcel of the development of human societies.
Athabasca University Press
1927356202 (ISBN13: 9781927356203)
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