Social Differentiation, Integration and Adaptive Upgrading: The Stages of General Societal Evolution

  • Ankie M. M. Hoogvelt


In Chapter 1 we presented the broad claims and characteristics of neo-evolutionary theories, and we compared these — rather favourably — with those of the older evolutionary schools. The purpose of this chapter is to communicate the substantive theorems of the dominant among the neo-evolutionary theories, namely that theory which has grown up within the so-called ‘structural functionalist’ school in sociology.


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Notes and References

  1. Parsons, Societies and The System of Modern Societies (1966 and 1971 resp.).Google Scholar
  2. T. Parsons, The Social System (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1951). See also his ‘General Introduction’ to Theories of Society as well as his contribution in the International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences under the concept of ‘Systems Analysis’. This latter is perhaps the briefest and most concise statement of his position.Google Scholar
  3. W. E. H. Stanner, ‘The Dreaming’, in Reader in Comparative Religion, ed. W. Lessa and E. Z. Vogt (Evanston, Ill.: Row & Peterson, 1958).Google Scholar
  4. This argument follows R. Barrington Moore, The Social Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969) especially pp.172–3.Google Scholar
  5. It is, of course, well known that in the Middle Ages most labour-saving devices were in fact made in the monasteries. See, for example, Lynn White, The Expansion of Technology 500–1400, Fontana Economic History of Europe, vol. I, section 4 (London: Fontana, 1971).Google Scholar
  6. C. Singer, A Short History of Science to the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949) especially ch. vii.Google Scholar
  7. This view of the role of technology as a tool of science is, naturally, not a unanimous view. For a critical view see Rupert Hall, ‘The Scholar and the Craftsman’ in Critical Problems in the History of Science, ed. M. Clagett (Wisconsin University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  8. R. Firth, Elements of Social Organisation (London: Watts, 1951) p. 142.Google Scholar
  9. Cf. B. Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932).Google Scholar
  10. Cf. T. S. Epstein, Economic Development and Social Change in South India (Manchester University Press, 1962) especially ch. iv.Google Scholar
  11. Quoted in N. J. Smelser, The Sociology of Economic Life (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963) p. 19.Google Scholar
  12. Quoted in D. Beetham, Max Weber and the Theory of Modern Politics (London: Allen & Unwin, 1974) p. 86.Google Scholar
  13. M. Weber, General Economic History (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1966) p. 207.Google Scholar
  14. M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Scribner, 1956) pp. 158 ff.Google Scholar
  15. For example, Marion Levy takes this as the definition of modernisation in his two volumes, Modernisation and the Structures of Societies (Princeton University Press, 1966).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ankie M. M. Hoogvelt 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ankie M. M. Hoogvelt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociological StudiesUniversity of SheffieldUK

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