Man's Quest for Social Guidance: The Study of Social Problems

By Howard W. Odum | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This study of man's quest for social guidance is the result of more than a decade of experience in college and university classes and in extension groups of citizens and teachers. The complete plan of study, the classification of fundamentals, and the mechanical essentials, we have presented in the introductory approach of the first two chapters. There has been needed for a long time a volume of sufficiently comprehensive scope, content, and unity, and of such definitely arranged divisions as to meet the demands for a full college course in social problems or a course introducing the social sciences. There is great need, too, for an orientation course not only for college men and women, but also for the increasingly large number of mature folk eagerly interested in bridging the distance between yesterday and to-day. With these requirements has come also the demand that the range and substance of such study should encompass a reasonable representation of the best authorities and sources rather than the generalization of one or a few individuals. In text, topic, and readings we have tried to meet these demands in such way as to permit of extensive or limited study in accordance with specific needs and wishes of class or individual.

Although this volume introduces the major problems which face society in its struggle for better social guidance, there must necessarily be definite limitations to its scope and reach. Thus the challenging problems of social waste and maladjustment are given peculiar emphasis but are presented only in outline, leaving the larger field of social pathology to special texts in this series. The fields of international and industrial relations, of especial importance in the structure of this book, require nevertheless more technical study than could be completed in an introductory course. Many current and rapidly changing situations, such as those of prohibition in the United States or of conflict in China, are represented primarily by readings, questions, and topics. Throughout the book the effort has been made to present an effective approach

-vii-

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