Social Structure and Mobility in Economic Development

By Neil J. Smelser; Seymour Martin Lipset | Go to book overview

5
INTERACTION BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL AND PRE-INDUSTRIAL STRATIFICATION SYSTEMS

BERT F. HOSELITZ, University of Chicago

A COMMON ASPECT of economic development, in societies that already have experienced it as well as those engaged in bringing it about, is the increase of the secondary and tertiary sectors in the economy. Although technical and other improvements of agriculture are being considered or carried out in all these societies, the major socio-economic change with which development is usually associated is the change from technically simple production to more complicated and often quite difficult modern production methods. With this change is associated an increase in the numbers of highly educated people and skilled and specialized workers, and an absolute or proportional decline of the rural, especially the small village population, as towns and urban areas grow.

I offer this crude description of economic advancement here, not in an attempt to describe economic development as a process, but to suggest the very general characteristics of change in economic practices, in residential patterns, and in the nature of economically and socially interacting groups, which are usually associated with economic development. In some countries these changes have been relatively rapid, in others slow, and in others they are just beginning. My purpose is to describe in rather general terms the characteristics of societies in which certain parts are still strongly influenced by the "old-fashioned" conditions of social structure and in which other parts, especially the industrialized urban sectors, have accepted or been forced into new forms of social organization and new relations between persons belonging to different and possibly new social classes.

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