An Outline of Social Contexts and Questions

  • Daniel Bell


In any social forecasting there are, it seems to me, certain logical procedures:
  1. 1.
    The stipulation of what questions one is asking, and why. These questions arise from:
    • The historical context;

    • Those hypotheses in social theory that stipulate directions of change (e.g., business cycles, shifts of geopolitical power, new social demands, and new values).

  2. 2.

    The definition of the relevant arenas and relevant actors within which these changes can be expected to take place.

  3. 3.

    The possible “undertows” that may change the character of the arena and the kind and number of actors in the social situation. For example, almost all social theorists in the 1930s were focusing on the political and ideological conflicts in the Western world, the tensions of fascism, democracy and communism, and the possibilities of war. Few, if any, predicted the explosive and rapid breakup of the imperial and colonial system that produced more than 100 new nations in twenty-five years.



Axial Principle Strategic Variable Social Framework Human Professional Service Colonial System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business and the European Foundation for Management Development 1982

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  • Daniel Bell

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