Large-scale Theories versus Small-scale Realities

  • Roger Pethybridge


The study of small social groups is for the most part a twentieth century occupation. Nineteenth century social historians were captivated by the formation in their time of broader class structures and burgeoning capitalist and bureaucratic systems. They tended to neglect the rapid dissolution of many intimate groupings that was taking place. It is true that scholars like E. Durkheim and G. Simmel realised the influence of primary groups on methods of social and political control, and examined the web of their affiliations, but these men were exceptions. In recent years this gap in our knowledge has been more than compensated for, but Soviet history has not been subjected to the same type of analysis. As is so often the case, modern research methods have been applied to Western political systems, but not as yet to the USSR.


Agricultural Cooperative Peasant Household German Ideology Poor Peasant Peasant Economy 
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Chapter 5

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© Roger Pethybridge 1974

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  • Roger Pethybridge

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