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The logic of writing and the organization of society

Author: Jack Goody
Publisher: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Series: Studies in literacy, family, culture, and the state.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Author is particularly concerned with ancient Near East and contemporary West Africa.
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Goody, Jack.
Logic of writing and the organization of society.
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1986
(OCoLC)712082986
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jack Goody
ISBN: 0521327458 9780521327459 0521339626 9780521339629
OCLC Number: 13526682
Description: xvii, 213 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Studies in Literacy, Family, Culture and the State: an introduction --
The word of God --
The concept of 'a'/'the' religion --
Boundaries --
Change --
Obsolescence --
Incorporation or conversion --
Universalism and particularism --
Cognitive contradictions in the general and the specific --
Specialization: priests and intellectuals --
Endowment and alienation --
The twin bureaucracies --
Organizational and structural autonomony --
The Great and Little Traditions: spirit cults and world religions --
Writing and religion in Ancient Egypt --
Writing and religion in other early civilizations --
Ritual and writing --
The word of mammon --
The origin of writing and the ancient economy --
Writing and the temple economy --
Writing and the palace economy --
Writing and the mercantile economy --
Writing and individual transactions --
Writing and the economy in Africa --
The state, the bureau and the file --
Bureaucracies --
The administration of early states with writing --
Internal administration --
External administration --
The administration of states without writing --
External administration --
Internal administration --
Writing in the colonial and national administrations --
Writing and the political process --
The letter of the law --
The definition of law --
Courts, constables and codes --
Sources of law and changes of rule --
Legal reasoning --
Court organization --
Legal forms --
The expansion of writing and law in medieval England --
The letter and the spirit of the law --
Ruptures and continuities.
Series Title: Studies in literacy, family, culture, and the state.
Responsibility: Jack Goody.
More information:

Abstract:

Author is particularly concerned with ancient Near East and contemporary West Africa.

This book assesses the impact of writing on human societies, both in the Ancient Near East and in contemporary Africa, and highlights some general features of social systems that have been influenced by this major change in the mode of communication. Such features are central to any attempt at the theoretical definition of human society and such constituent phenomena as religious and legal systems, and in this study Professor Goody explores the role of a specific mechanism, the introduction of writing and the development of a written tradition, in the explanation of some important social differences and similarities. Goody argues that a shift of emphasis from productive to certain communicative processes is essential to account adequately for major changes in human societies. Whilst there have been previous descussions of the effect of literacy upon social organisation, no study has hitherto presented the general synthesis developed here. -- Back cover.

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