The Human Cycle, Psychology of Social Development

Lotus Press
2
Free sample

Sri Aurobindo explores the cycles of human development with an eye toward showing the underlying trend and impulsion in that development. He shows how humanity moves successively through various stages whereby different powers are developed and highlighted towards an ultimate integration and fulfillment of human destiny in an outflowing of our hidden spiritual nature in the diversity and vibrancy of our physical, vital and mental life.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Lotus Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1999
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Pages
269
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ISBN
9780914955443
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Essays
Literary Criticism / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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We live in a modern age, but what does ‘modern’ mean and how can a reflection on ‘modernity’ help us to understand the world today? These are the questions that Peter Wagner sets out to answer in this concise and accessible book.

Wagner begins by returning to the question of modernity's Western origins and its claims to open up a new and better era in the history of humanity. Modernity's claims and expectations have become more prevalent and widely shared, but in the course of their realization and diffusion they have also been radically transformed. In an acute and engaging analysis, Wagner examines the following key issues among others:

- Modernity was based on the hope for freedom and reason, but it created the institutions of contemporary capitalism and democracy. How does the freedom of the citizen relate to the freedom of the buyer and seller today? And what does disaffection with capitalism and democracy entail for the sustainability of modernity?

- Rather than a single model of modernity, there is now a plurality of forms of modern socio-political organisation. What does this entail for our idea of progress and our hope that the future world can be better than the present one?

- All nuance and broadening notwithstanding, our concept of modernity is in some way inextricably tied to the history of Europe and the West. How can we compare different forms of modernity in a 'symmetric', non-biased or non-Eurocentric way? How can we develop a world-sociology of modernity?
Perspectives on Modernization is published in memory of Ian Weinberg, a sociologist of brilliant promise who died at the age of thirty. It consists of essays by his colleagues, students, and teachers which reflect upon and carry further Ian Weinberg's major scholarly concerns – the processes of industrialization and modernization of societies.

The book begins with an essay by Ian Weinberg which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, 1968. It is followed by a paper of wide scope and interest, Wilbert E. Moore's 'Normative Conflict in Stages of Cultural Change.' Noting that the study of rapid social change can no longer be confined to the so-called modernizing countries, Moore argues that comparable normative conflicts occur at comparable stages of cultural change. Rainer C. Baum and Charles Tilly are concerned with the serious gaps in the theory of modernization and politics. Baum is specifically concerned with developing a political analogue to the theory of economic development; Tilly concentrates on a longitudinal study of the relationship between modernization and collective political conflicts. S.D. Clark writes of patterns of urban growth, looking at two exceptions to the well-studied outward movement of immigrants in Canadian cities. Edward Shorter studies the modernization of sexual attitudes by analysing illegitimacy. The last three papers approach modernization through economic changes and development: H. Nishio analyses the relationships between political control and economic development in Japan over two centuries; Stanely R. Barrett studies the transition of the economy in a Nigerian utopian community from communalism to partial private enterprise; and L.R. Marsden, E.B. Harvey, and J. Bulcock explore the relationship of literacy and economic development in thirty-nine African countries. The volume includes an introduction by the editor and an outline of Ian Weinberg's short but brilliant career.

These essays are, like the work of the man they seek to honour, wide ranging and intellectually provocative in their approach to a complex question. The volume is a fitting tribute to both the man and the spirit of intellectual vitality to which he was committed.

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