The intent of this book is to present a comprehensive (and comprehensible) vision of the sociocultural system. To do this I open with a theoretical chapter and then use the theory to analyze industrial systems -- particularly the advanced system in the United States. I open with social theory with some trepidation. It has been my experience that most American students loathe and fear social theory (at one time I could count myself in this group), and I fear many will not get past the first chapter. To counter this, I have attempted to present the theory as clearly and forthrightly as possible, but it still might throw some who prefer more concrete analysis. For those readers who are thrown by the theoretical discussion, I advise you to begin with Chapter 2 and return to Chapter 1 after you finish the book. The illustrations of the theory encountered in chapters 2-8 will make the theory in Chapter 1 more easily comprehensible. I believe strongly in the usefulness of social theory. An explicit framework of the sociocultural whole is invaluable in understanding any one part of society. Getting that message across -- whatever route the reader takes -- is the overriding goal of this work.
Before going any further into the book I also acknowledge my stand on politically correct language -- particularly as it relates to gender-neutral and gender-inclusive terms. When I use such terms as "man" and "mankind" (instead of "humankind"), I intend to include both genders unless I specifically state otherwise. As evidence of this good faith effort
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Publication information: Book title: Industrializing America:Understanding Contemporary Society through Classical Sociological Analysis. Contributors: Frank W. Elwell - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1999. Page number: xi.
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