Revolution and Counterrevolution: Change and Persistence in Social Structures

By Seymour Lipset Martin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Values and Entrepreneurship in the Americas

The approach used to account for variations in patterns of national development which has been elaborated to analyze the relatively slight (on an international comparative scale) differences between English- speaking Canada and the United States may also be employed in an effort to understand the variations between Latin America and Anglo- Saxon America. Perhaps the most striking differences between the two cultural areas have been the variations in level of economic development. Hence, much of this chapter will focus on the sources of such differences.

Discussions of the requisites of economic development have been concerned with the relative importance of the appropriate economic conditions, rather than the presumed effects on varying rates of economic growth of diverse value systems. Much of the analysis which stems from economic thought has tended to see value orientations as derivative from economic factors. Most sociological analysts, on the other hand, following in the tradition of Max Weber, have placed a major independent role on the effect of values in fostering economic development.1

Although the evaluation of the causal significance of economic factors and value orientations has often taken the form of a debate

____________________
1
For an excellent general discussion of the relationships between values and economic behavior written in a Latin-American context see Thomas C. Cochran , "Cultural Factors in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic History, 20 ( 1960), 515-530; see also John Gillin, "Ethos Components in Modern Latin American Culture," American Anthropologist, 57 ( 1955), 488-500.

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