Trends in fertility decline, intergenerational relations, religion and secularization, ecological movements, employment and labour-market changes, personal authority, and social conflict are examined. This analysis shows an unmistakable convergence of social trends except in the domain of religion. But when the interconnection of these trends within each national society is examined, unexpected divergences are revealed. There are parallel trends in demography, organization of production, national institutions, social practices, and life style, and divergent trends in social inequality, social movements, and local institutions. Barriers between social classes have eroded and something that might be called multidimensional stratification has emerged, the diminution of violence in social conflicts implies an increasing volume of negotiation, and all forms of personal authority have been weakened. The transformation of the family structure is no doubt one of the most important changes in western civilization.
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