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The Institutions of Advanced Societies

The Institutions of Advanced Societies

Copyright Date: 1958
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 704
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  • Book Info
    The Institutions of Advanced Societies
    Book Description:

    The Institutions of Advanced Societies was first published in 1958. By perceiving the similarities and differences between various societies, social scientists are better able to understand the complexities of social structure itself. This volume makes a substantial contribution to the field of comparative sociology by providing sociological descriptions and analyses of ten contemporary, advanced societies chosen from a wide geographic and cultural range. Most of the contributing authors are native residents of the societies they describe, and all except one are primarily sociologists. In an introductory chapter, Arnold M. Rose, the editor, discusses the methods, problems, and values of a comparative study of social institutions. He draws some conclusions from the material presented in the volume but points out that this task is far from complete. It is hoped that this book will stimulate further studies of this kind so that research can go forward in the comparative study of modern societies. The countries considered for analysis include: the United Kingdom, Australia, Finland, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Israel, France, Brazil, and the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6425-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
    (pp. 3-42)
    Arnold M. Rose

    The observation of differences between peoples seems to have fascinated men since ancient times. An invidious quality frequently characterized these observations, in modern times as well as ancient: the behavior of another people was described to indicate its inferiority to that of the society to which the writer belonged. The reasons used to explain the differences might be religious, biological, geographic, or historical. The ancient Hebrews attributed their particular qualities to God’s selection of them as the “chosen people.” The ancient Greeks used a wider range of explanations, but they were equally derogatory to the outsiders, or “barbarians.”

    The early...

    (pp. 43-130)
    Anthony H. Richmond

    The outstanding features of the social structure, institutions, and culture of the United Kingdom are a consequence of their uninterrupted development over a long period. Britain has been free from foreign invasion or military occupation for nine hundred years. Except for the strife which led to the establishment of the Republic of Eire, the country has not experienced a violent revolution since the seventeenth century. Its insularity enabled it to escape the turmoils that ravaged the continent of Europe, and the British people long enjoyed the stability and security so essential to the emergence of democratic values and institutions.


    (pp. 131-192)
    Ronald Taft and Kenneth F. Walker

    The Commonwealth of Australia is a transplanted version of British culture ten thousand miles from its source. Lying on the periphery of the subcontinent of Southeast Asia, it is an independent member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and recognizes the British monarch as its sovereign. With its European background, advanced economic organization, high standard of living, and equalitarian democracy, it contrasts with its Asian neighbors, and the nine million well-fed and comparatively carefree Australians orient themselves almost entirely toward their British “parents” and American “cousins” rather than toward Asia. Like most of the New World residents, Australians are possessed...

    (pp. 193-234)
    Heikki Waris

    The main fact which has deeply influenced all social institutions in Finland and which has shaped its history is its geographical location. Finland is aborderland.Finland’s location and its historical function have made it a bridge and a meeting ground between Russia in the East and Scandinavia in the West. Thus, the flora and fauna of Finland show a mixture of both Western and Eastern elements and, likewise, from earliest prehistoric times up to the twentieth century Western as well as Eastern cultural influences are discernible in Finland. There are already Western and Eastern patterns in the ornaments of...

    (pp. 235-273)
    Jan Szczepanski

    In spite of many differences in definitions and theories sociologists have always regarded institutions as a stabilizing factor of societies and cultures. Therefore, if one wants to describe the culture of one’s own people to the outsider, one must give, first of all, a picture of its institutions. But difficulty begins with the definition ofinstitution.There are many definitions formulated in textbooks, special papers, and systematic studies on this subject, but I believe that the view which the authors have in common may be presented as follows: institutions are purposive groups or sets of patterns, created by societies by...

    (pp. 274-329)
    Oleg Mandich

    The Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed on November 29, 1945, as a community of six People’s Republics: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. It has a land surface of 255,804 square kilometers, including Serbia proper with 55,897, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina with 21,774, and the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija with 10,690. The People’s Republic of Croatia comprises an area of 56,553 square kilometers, Slovenia 20,226, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,139, Macedonia 25,713, and Montenegro 13,812.

    Yugoslavia is bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania and has land boundaries 2,969 kilometers...

    (pp. 330-383)
    John Koty

    “In the complexity of its contour and variety of its natural features, Greece surpasses every country in Europe ...” wrote one of the authorities on Greece some years ago.¹ Indeed, the historian and the geographer who visit this country are always impressed by the variety and the contrasts of its landscape.

    Greek society, no less than Greek nature, often presents irreconcilable aspects. The urban and the rural communities seem to belong to two different worlds. Life in the capital, or in some other big towns, is not very different, at least outwardly, from that in any other part of the...

  10. ISRAEL
    (pp. 384-443)
    S. N. Eisenstadt

    The analysis presented in the following essay will attempt to provide both a historical and an analytical description, placed within a wider, comparative setting, of the institutional framework of Israeli society. While it is not the purpose of this essay to analyze the institutions of other societies, I shall attempt to point out some of the basic frameworks to which the Israeli social structure may be related. It seems to me that there are three such foci or frameworks of comparison.

    The development of Israeli society may be compared to other colonizing movements which have attempted to transplant Western social...

  11. FRANCE
    (pp. 444-524)
    François Bourricaud

    This interpretation of France, confined to such a few pages, is limited by the paucity of adequate studies. I shall try to point out how certain hypotheses could be verified, but I would not pretend that more than a few have been so.

    In order to characterize present-day French society, it is necessary first of all to choose a point of view. No society is entirely homogeneous; none of its activities ever express the whole of the society. Yet there is nothing in its past or present which does not in some manner bear witness to the nature of the...

  12. BRAZIL
    (pp. 525-591)
    Emilio Willems

    It has often been stated that contemporary Brazil contains a hybrid people and a hybrid culture, the foundations of which were laid by Portuguese settlers, African slaves, and detribalized native Indians. Although essentially correct, this statement must be qualified insofar as it may convey the false impression that the influence of each of these ethnic groups was felt with equal intensity in all parts of Brazil, or that the cultural contribution of each group was, quantitatively or qualitatively, comparable to those of the others.

    To judge from the presence of Indian elements in different parts of contemporary Brazil, it would...

    (pp. 592-676)
    Jessie Bernard

    In the eighteenth century a handful of French sociologists—or philosophers as they were then called—viewed the debacle of the feudal system, quarried the past in order to interpret the present, invoked the newly emerging scientific viewpoint, and came up with a set of concepts and ideas that shook the world when they became articulated and popularized as the theoretical core of the French Revolution. Among such concepts, for example, were freedom and equality. And the history of all the advanced nations of the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries might well be written in terms of the...

  14. INDEX
    (pp. 677-691)