The subject matter of this book, changing social institutions, is intended to familiarize scholars with the breadth and depth of changes in the American institutions that meet most of our major social needs. Almost all of the human endeavors that require structured social cooperation are touched on here—how we as a society form and maintain familial bonds, educate our children, produce and distribute material resources, treat the sick and infirm, disseminate information to the populace, define and promote national interests through government, and seek spiritual comfort and solace. All too often, the individual components of social systems are studied in isolation rather than as parts of an intricate whole, a tendency exacerbated by the trend toward specialization within sociology and the social sciences generally. The sheer amount of information to be absorbed and the magnitude and complexity of the social problems we face discourage most scholars from venturing far outside their own narrow domain. We hope this book will prove to be an antidote. This volume attempts to familiarize readers with the most important and most enduring changes in our social institutions as we enter the next century.
KeywordsLabor Force Participation Social Institution Institutional Framework Union Membership Legal Profession
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