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Concept of social change : a critique of the functionalist theory of social change

Author: Anthony D Smith
Publisher: London ; New York : Routledge, 2010.
Series: Routledge revivals.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Anthony Smith's important work on the concept of social change, first published in 1973, puts forward the paradigm of historical change as an alternative to the functionalist theory of evolutionary change. He shows that, in attempting to provide a theory of social change, functionalism reveals itself as a species of 'frozen' evolutionism. Functionalism, he argues, is unable to cope with the mechanisms of historical  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Smith, Anthony D.
Concept of social change.
London ; New York : Routledge, 2010
(OCoLC)489086749
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Anthony D Smith
ISBN: 9780203851678 0203851676
OCLC Number: 611205221
Description: 1 online resource (x, 198 pages).
Contents: 1. Functionalism and social change --
2. The 'neo-evolutionary' revival --
3. The stages of evolution --
4. Modernism and modernisation --
5. Revolution --
6. Equilibrium and change --
7. Evolution and history.
Series Title: Routledge revivals.
Responsibility: Anthony D. Smith.

Abstract:

"Anthony Smith's important work on the concept of social change, first published in 1973, puts forward the paradigm of historical change as an alternative to the functionalist theory of evolutionary change. He shows that, in attempting to provide a theory of social change, functionalism reveals itself as a species of 'frozen' evolutionism. Functionalism, he argues, is unable to cope with the mechanisms of historical transitions or account for novelty and emergence; it confuses classification of variations with explanation of processes; and its endogenous view of change prevents it from coming to grips with the real events and transformations of the historical record. In his assessment of functionalism, Dr Smith traces its explanatory failures in its accounts of the developments of civilisation, modernisation and revolution. He concludes that the study of 'evolution' is largely irrelevant to the investigation of social change. He proposes instead an exogenous paradigm of social change, which places the study of contingent historical events at its centre"--EBL.

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