Social Change in the Industrial Revolution: An Application of Theory to the British Cotton Industry

By Neil J. Smelser | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

When comparing a society with its past or with another society, we often employ a dichotomy such as "advanced vs. backward," "developed vs. underdeveloped," "civilized vs. uncivilized," or "complex vs. simple." Sometimes these words yield too little information, because they claim simply that one society is superior to another. Sometimes they yield too much, for terms like "advanced" shroud a galaxy of vague connotations. Hence to use such words may generate conflicts of pride and conflicts of meaning, both of which subvert intelligent discourse.

The dichotomies are, however, not completely useless. Common to all are the dimensions of complexity and differentiation. In other words, an "advanced" or "developed" society possesses a complex organization of differentiated social and cultural components. To illustrate, a religion becomes a religious tradition only after it shakes off its undifferentiated tribal elements and develops a complex, independent organization. A military machine is more developed than spontaneous warfare because it operates under specific, explicit, and sometimes autonomous rules. Bureaucratic administration is more advanced than a household staff not only because it is more complex but also because it is less mingled with personal loyalties.1 A highly developed economy has a complexity of organization and a differentiation of units which do not characterize underdeveloped forms.2 Political behaviour "advances" when it is carried on within political institutions free from nepotism, tribal loyalties, and bald economic interests. In short, one element in "growth," "advancement," and "civilization" is that the social structures in question become more differentiated from each other.

____________________
1
M. Weber, "Bureaucracy," in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology ( London, 1947), pp. 198-9.
2
These elements are implied in Adam Smith's view of an economy. Book I of The Wealth of Nations ( New York, 1937) is entitled: Of the Causes of Improvement in the Productive Powers of Labour..., or we might say, of the causes of economic growth. Chapter I, "Of the Division of Labour," and Chapter III, "That the Division of Labour is limited by the Extent of the Market," contain the twin ideas of complexity and differentiation from the market.

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Change in the Industrial Revolution: An Application of Theory to the British Cotton Industry
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 442

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.