Industrialization As an Agent of Social Change: A Critical Analysis
Herbert Blumer wrote continuously and voluminously, and consequently left a vast array of unpublished work at the time of his death in 1987. This posthumously published volume testifies further to his perceptive analysis of large-scale social organizations and elegant application of symbolic interactionist principles.
Blumer's focus on the processual nature of social life and on the significance of the communicative interpretation of social contexts is manifest in his theory of industrialization and social change. His theory entails three major points: industrialization must be seen in processual terms, and the industrialization process is different for different historical periods; the consequences of industrialization are a function of the interpretive nature of human action and resembles a neutral framework within which groups interpret the meaning of industrial relations, and the industrial sector must be viewed in terms of power relations; industrial societies contain inherently conflicting interests.
The editors' introductory essay outlines Blumer's metatheoretical stance (symbolic interactionism) and its emphasis on the adjustive character of social life. It places Blumer's theory in the context of contemporary macro theory, including world systems theory, resource dependence theory, and modernization theory.
Herbert Blumer (1900-1987), formerly Chairperson, Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, was the theoretical and methodological leader of "symbolic interactionism" and was identified as its foremost proponent for a half-century. His publications include works on industrial relations, research methods, mass society, collective behavior, race relations, and social movements.
David R. Maines is chairman of the department of anthropology and sociology at Oakland University. He has worked to articulate an interactionist approach to the study of social organization as well as the fundamental relevance of temporality and communication for sociological analysis.
Thomas J. Morrione is Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology at Colby College and he is currently Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the college. He was a Research Associate (1977, 1985) and Visiting Professor (1984) at the University of California, Berkeley.
What people are saying - Write a review
Ambiguity of the Concept of Industrialization
A The Inadequacy of the Colloquial Meaning of Industrialization
B The Confusion of Industrialization with Other Processes
C Study of Selected Aspects or Expressions of Industrialization
The Nature of Industrialization
A Industrialization as a Type of Economy
B Views of Industrialization as an Agent of Social Change
B Significance of the Differential Responses of Established Social Orders
C Summary Observations
Industrialization and Problems of Social Transition
A The Alleged Role of Industrialization in Producing Social Disorder
B Assessment of Industrialization as a Source of Social Disorder
C Relation of Early Industrialization to Disorganization and Disorder
The Neutral Role of Industrialization
A The Construction of a Typology of Early Industrialization
C The Framework of Industrialization
D Variation in Industrialization
Industrialization as an Agent of Social ChangePreliminary Considerations
A Analysis of Happenings at Points of Entry
B Implications of the Analysis
C Summary Remarks
Industrialization and the Traditional Order
A Response of the Established Order to Industrialization