The Active Society, published in 1968, is the most ambitious book in Amitai Etzioni's remarkable career. In this new collection of essays, Wilson Carey McWilliams brings together scholars in a range of disciplines to analyze the significance and shortcomings of this important work.
This book revisits John Kenneth Galbraith's classic text The Affluent Society in the context of the background to, and causes of, the global economic crisis that erupted in 2008. Each chapter takes a major theme of Galbraith's book, distils his arguments, and then discusses to what extent they cast light on current developments, both in developed economies and in the economics discipline. The themes include: inequality, insecurity, inflation, debt, consumer behaviour, financialization, the economic role of government ('social balance'), the power of ideas, the role of power in the economy, and the nature of the good society. It considers the current problems of capitalism and the huge challenges facing democratic governments in tackling them. Written in non-technical language, this book is accessible to students of economics and the social sciences as well as to those who would have read The Affluent Society and the general reader interested in contemporary affairs and public policy.
Torsten Husén has brought together in this volume a collection of his own essays, the topics of which reflect his long and distinguished career both as an academic and as a practical researcher. The essays are grouped under six main themes on which he has worked over the years: research and policy making; educational reforms; equality and meritocracy; the impact of education on career; international and comparative dimensions; and present trends and future perspectives. An underlying message running throughout the volume is the importance of examining educational problems from a wide social perspective, rather than solely from the narrow confines of the classroom.
What are the costs and consequences of living in a society that has undergone an "organizational revolution"? To what extent is social life in the 21st century dominated by the rational control that is characteristic of bureaucratic organizations large and small? Organizations and Society addresses these broader human questions with a critical perspective, while at the same time explaining the main concepts and theories in the field. Students of all interests—those who wish to run organizations someday, study them, or simply understand their importance in the contemporary social order—will benefit from the insights and coherent arguments of this text for undergraduate classrooms.
What is the contribution of General System Theory to the macro-level understanding of economic, social and technological changes in our epoch from a multidimensional perspective? What is the contribution of Social Action Theory on a micro-scale? Can complex scenario analyses, although based upon uncertainty and unpredictability, offer a viable toolkit for managing these transformations? This book contains twelve chapters, dealing with these questions from various points of view. It brings together essays in sociology, economics, law and humanities to provide as complete a representation as possible of the current global situation. The theoretical framework adopted here is that the systemic approach provides the most effective tool both for understanding social phenomena and elaborating policy-modelling strategies for decision makers that are supposed to tackle social criticalities.
Contributors to this volume respond to the normative capsule framing economic behaviour that Amitai Etzioni has explored. The text also looks at his works on organisations, public policy, socio-economics and communitarianism.
Tackles issues on managing library resources and patrons' needs during economic downturns through essays written by librarians on topics such as grant writing, cancellation decision-making, shared resources, and inexpensive professional development.
Drawing extensively on the research findings of natural and social sciences both in America and Europe, Reframing the Social argues for a critical realist and systemist social ontology, designed to shed light on current debates in social theory concerning the relationship of social ontology to practical social research, and the nature of 'the social'. It explores the works of the systems theorist Mario Bunge in comparison with the approach of Niklas Luhmann and critical social systems theorists, to challenge the commonly held view that the systems-based approach is holistic in nature and necessarily downplays the role of human agency. Theoretically sophisticated and investigating the work of a theorist whose work has until now received insufficient attention in Anglo-American thought, this book will be of interest to those working in the field of social theory, as well as scholars concerned with philosophy of social science, the project of analytical sociology, and the nature of the relationship between the natural and social sciences.
Constructal Theory of Social Dynamics brings together for the first time social scientists and engineers who present predictive theory of social organization, as a conglomerate of mating flows that morph in time to flow more easily. The book offers a new way to look at social phenomena as part of natural phenomena, and examines a new domain of application of engineering such as thermodynamic optimization, thermoeconomics and "design as science".
The Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-First Century Economy contributes to the understanding of the ambivalent nature of power, oscillating between conflict and cooperation, public and private, global and local, formal and informal, and does so from an empirical perspective. It offers a collection of country-based cases, as well as critically assesses the existing conceptions of power from a cross-disciplinary perspective. The diverse analyses of power at the macro, meso or micro levels allow the volume to highlight the complexity of political economy in the twenty-first century. Each chapter addresses key elements of that political economy (from the ambivalence of the cases of former communist countries that do not conform with the grand narratives about democracy and markets, to the dual utility of new technologies such as face-recognition), thus providing mounting evidence for the centrality of an understanding of ambivalence in the analysis of power, especially in the modern state power-driven capitalism. Anchored in economic sociology and political economy, this volume aims to make ‘visible’ the dimensions of power embedded in economic practices. The chapters are predominantly based on post-communist practices, but this divergent experience is relevant to comparative studies of how power and economy are interrelated.
No other work on Galileo Galilei has brought together such a complete description of the historical context in its political, cultural, philosophical, religious, scientific, and personal aspects as this volume has done. In addition to covering the whole of Galileo's life, it focuses on those things that are most pertinent to the Galileo Affair, which culminated in his condemnation by the Inquisition in 1633. It also includes an extensive discussion of the relationship between religion and science in general, and of the relationship between Christianity and science in particular, without which a true understanding of the affair is much weakened. This discussion of the relationship of Christianity with science-a long, generally positive relationship-is most timely since the case of Galileo is, as many historians and Pope Benedict XVI have stated, the beginning of the alienation of the Church from much of the intellectual culture of our present age. The "warfare between science and religion" is an old myth that should finally be retired, but for many it is still axiomatic. This work shows the significance of astrology in the history of society and the Church (Galileo was a master astrologer), and the importance of the internal tensions and factions within the Roman Curia in the seventeenth century. It also tells of the profound battles among Church leadership over the direction of the Church in a time of uncertainty and intellectual and cultural ferment. The Galileo Affair is not just of its time and place, and it is not just about Galileo, but it touches upon that perennial issue of how the Church deals with issues of adaptation and change.