Social Oppression

Social Oppression

Social Oppression

Social Oppression

Synopsis

Podgorecki examines oppression that results from pressures inside social groupings, large and small, effected by different normative and conformity-inducing mechanisms designed to regulate human behavior. Podgorecki provides a critical examination of the empirical findings in the most important and imaginative experimental studies of various types of oppression (including those by Milgram and Zimbardo), as well as data collected in "natural" settings like asylums or concentration camps. New interpretations of those findings furnish a new angle of vision requiring modification of the existing typologies of individual adaptation including the best known typology elaborated by Merton (conformity, ritualism, innovation, withdrawal, rebellion). Podgorecki goes on to trace regularities in historically recorded patterns of behavior of people living under totalitarian and post-totalitarian conditions. Finally, based on these insights and on the recent developments in sociology of law, a new theory of lawis advanced, which utilizes as its important axis a conceptual differentiation between the official and intuitive law. Recommended for scholars of sociology, social psychology, political science, and especially criminology.

Excerpt

The origin of this book is connected with my intellectual links with several "invisible colleges." I have been associated with the Research Committee of Sociology of Law of the International Sociological Association (ISA) as a cofounder, vice president, and board member since 1962. The main intellectual task of this committee has been to investigate how normative aspects of social reality are apprehended by people in various countries and cultures, as well as to inquire into complex interrelationships between law, in its various forms, and other aspects of social, political, and economic life. I have also been associated with the ISA Research Committee of Sociotechnics (as its founder, first president, and board member) since 1973. This committee has been striving to find out how social change is envisioned by various social actors, what strategies are used in practical efforts to bring about desired social transfigurations, and what can be learned from historical examples of "dark" social engineering. I have been involved as well in the work of the ISA Research Committee of Sociology of Deviance and Social Control since 1970. Finally, I have been a member of the Research Council of ISA since its inception in 1966. The task of this council has been to stimulate and coordinate undergoing investigations in the areas of interest of various research committees of the ISA. Discussions with colleagues from dif-

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