By W. G. Runciman
This moment of 3 volumes units out a common account of the constitution and evolution of human societies. the writer argues first that societies are to be outlined as units of roles whose incumbents are rivals for entry to, or regulate of, the technique of creation, persuasion and coercion; and moment, that the method during which societies evolve is certainly one of aggressive choice of the practices during which roles are outlined analagous, yet no longer reducible, to usual choice. He illustrates and exams those theses with proof drawn from the full diversity of societies documented within the old and ethnographic list. the result's an unique, strong and far-reaching reformulation of evolutionary sociological conception so one can give the chance to do for the category and research of societies what Darwin and his successors have performed for the class and research of species.
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Extra resources for A Treatise on Social Theory, Volume 2
89 n. 92) (I owe the reference to Murray 1978, p. 229 n. 65). \ The quotation is cited by Macpherson (1962, p. 239 n. 1) from Locke's MS Journal as quoted in Fox Browne's biography of him. § This holds also, and perhaps particularly, where explicitly religious motives are at issue and the desire to acquire merit in the eyes of men is compounded by respect for the judgement of God. It is tempting to be sceptical of monkish accounts of the medieval miles who donates his parcel of land to the abbey ob amorcm omnipotent dei sanctorumque apostolorum Petri et Pauli, et pro remedio animae suae atque omnium parentorum suorum - 1 have taken an example almost at random from the records of Quny (Bernard and Bruel 1880, 11, p.
Both schools, indeed, have a good case. On the cultural view, the dividing-lines to be drawn are those which ' they' recognize themselves to be defined by their own customs and laws: hence, they should demarcate self-classified, mutually acknowledged 'social classes', a social class being defined by one representative author of this school as ' a section or large grouping of people within a society, divided into a socially recognized and often named category possessing a common life-style and supposedly [author's italics] sharing similar ranges of status' (Cohen 1970, p.
Peristiany (1965) for a selection of Mediterranean societies where the avoidance of shame and disgrace is at least as compelling a motive as the fear of poverty on the one hand and violence on the other. 36 SOCIETIES AS SUBJECTS FOR SCIENCE systact whose location they wish to raise. The difficult question of the importance of individual leaders to the systacts they represent, and thereby to large-scale collective mobility, can be left to be debated case by case. But there is a need for a theory-neutral concept in terms of which there can be reported the discrepancies between the inequalities of economic, ideological or coercive power reflected in the location of persons and their roles and the desire of those persons to see them altered for either an individual or a collective improvement as they perceive it.
A Treatise on Social Theory, Volume 2 by W. G. Runciman