Download A Treatise on Social Theory, Volume 2 by W. G. Runciman PDF

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 keep watch over of, the technique of creation, persuasion and coercion; and moment, that the method wherein societies evolve is one in every of aggressive number of the practices in which roles are outlined analagous, yet no longer reducible, to traditional choice. He illustrates and exams those theses with proof drawn from the full variety of societies documented within the old and ethnographic checklist. the result's an unique, robust and far-reaching reformulation of evolutionary sociological concept with the intention to give the opportunity to do for the class and research of societies what Darwin and his successors have performed for the class and research of species.

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Hopkins (1983, p. ' ROLES AND SYSTACTS 25 choices of different researchers may be dictated not only by their explanatory, descriptive or evaluative presuppositions but also by the particular form of social organization which, even if putting forward a would-be general theory, they have predominantly in mind. The moral to be drawn, however, is not just that there is an evaluative bias to much sociological theory. It is that on any theory, there is an enormous variation in forms of social organization from a chosen sub-set of which different researchers have selected one or another as their paradigm.

Unfortunately, it is a broken reed. Research has shown that many yeomen were indeed freeholders, but that many were leaseholders, many were copyholders, while some held land by a variety of tenures. * It is in these cases, indeed, that 'their' terms are particularly likely to be more misleading than helpful. The categories of 'lord' and 'peasant', for example, are familiar in a number of languages as denoting distinguishable groups or categories in pre-industrial societies. But they cannot be presumed to denote systacts, if only because the conflicts of interest between lord and lord or peasant and peasant will be found to outweigh those of all lords against all peasants in many more than can be dismissed as special cases.

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.

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