The present work is intended for use as a text in college courses dealing with the subject of social disorganization. Although the fundamental body of knowledge is far from complete, there does exist a valuable amount of sociological knowledge on this subject, and it appears timely and desirable to assemble it in an objective and organized presentation.
The primary concern is not with "social problems" or "social pathology." It is assumed that the various afflictions included in such categories are to some extent consequences of social disorganization and that an understanding of the basic sociology of disorganization is a requisite for intelligent solutions of such "social problems."
There is wide interest in and concern about the possibility of progressive disorganization and decline or downfall of our civilization. Many of the indications of such a development are the symptoms of disorganization which are analyzed in the present volume. In view of popular apprehension on this subject it has seemed appropriate to deal with certain processes of reorganization, in order to show that the course of civilization is not necessarily a one-way progress toward extinction.
The author has drawn upon the whole field of sociology and several of the related disciplines in preparing this book and he wishes to acknowledge aid from many of his teachers and associates. His most immediate obligation is to Professor Harvey J. Locke, whose able and conscientious examination of the manuscript added much to its clarity. Any blemishes which remain are, of course, the responsibility of the writer.
ROBERT E. L. FARIS
Syracuse University May, 1948 . . .