America in Civilization: Designed as a Text-Book for College and University Use in Courses Introducing Students to Life

By Ralph E. Turner | Go to book overview

PREFACE

In recent years educators have agreed that there is a need for a fuller recognition on the part of the individual of his relations in and to society. In addition to the assertion of this need, the feeling has been expressed that the present curricula are failing to give students an organized view of the general elements in developing civilization. Consequently the social science studies in the secondary schools have been undergoing a revision and an expansion, while at the same time numerous colleges and universities have inaugurated special introductory courses designed to "orient" their incoming students.

Many books have been written for use in the secondary schools, but the collegiate instruction has been given for the most part by lectures and assigned reading based on specially prepared syllabi. The present volume frankly represents an attempt to provide a text-book for such introductory college courses.

Its primary aim is to introduce the student to life as life has been disclosed by the natural and social sciences; to make him conscious of his relations to other people in society; and also to indicate to him how these relations happen to be as they are, and what the processes and forces affecting them may be. Incidentally, since the materials likely to accomplish this result have had to be taken from many special fields of knowledge, it is believed that the book will serve the secondary purpose of providing a brief introduction to such special work as the student may later undertake. In rendering this service, moreover, it is hoped that the book will afford some relief for the present-day tendency toward too early specialization; and that it will enable those who do specialize to comprehend, after their advanced work is done, the relation of their own special studies and activities to human life as a whole. Finally, from the recognition of his relations in and to society and from the comprehension of his own function in the general social process, it is possible that the student may develop for himself the sympathy and understanding which are so necessary to the peaceful and fruitful activities of life, both individual and social. To enable the student to see life in its entirety in order that he may live it more knowingly, is the fundamental purpose of the book.

In selecting and organizing the materials the author has kept

-ix-

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America in Civilization: Designed as a Text-Book for College and University Use in Courses Introducing Students to Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Index 399
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