Ways of Social Change
Making Sense of Modern Times
- Garth Massey - University of Wyoming, USA
- Connie Robinson, Central Washington University
The world is at our fingertips, but understanding what is going on has never been more daunting. Ways of Social Change is a primer for making sense of both rapidly moving events and the cultural and structural forces on which social life is built, while teaching critical thinking skills needed to understand social change. With an approach that is fresh, timely, challenging, and engaging, Ways of Social Change shows students how social change is both a lived experience and the result of our actions in the world. It invites the reader into the realm of social science, where clarification, understanding, and inquiry provide for both informed opinions and a path to effective involvement. The core of the book focuses on five forces that powerfully influence the direction, scope and speed of social change: science and technology, social movements, war and revolution, large corporations, and the state. A concluding chapter encourages students to examine their own perspectives and offers ways to engage in social change, now and in their lifetime.
Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:
- Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
Continues to challenge students thinking and reasoning
An excellent read and an excellent teaching resource. Covers all aspects of social change.
This book is highly recommendable for students who start dealing with the topic of social change. It has a strong historically based process orientation and focuses on the relationship between individual and society in time which seems much more promising than analysing more or less isolated factors of social change in various fields. Connections between the discussed main drivers of social change like state, corporation, war and technology are often made visible.
Stressing the importance of reflecting theoretical and methodical basics is another advantage of the book, because very often students at the beginning of their studies have some difficulties in shifting from everyday thinking to a more scientific, meaning theoretical-abstracting thinking. Therefore the author shows the necessity and ways of doing so. But this strength is as well a weakness, because in some parts chapter two (methods) and three (theory) seem like an overall but strongly shortened introduction into theoretical thinking and methodically led scientific analysis. Together with the many exemplifications, which illustrate the discussed topics very well, the book seems to have some potential for shortage and getting straighter to the point. Nevertheless the book provides many interesting perspectives, for example the last chapter which focusses the making of social change, accompanying the more historical oriented analytical chapters before giving a more practical point of view.
My overall conclusion is to recommend this book to my students for further reading to get a deeper and wider understanding of social change, happing in different contexts of our life all the time, but in different ways and with more or less chances for us to influence the direction and the speed of these change processes.
Very readable and engaging textbook suitable for introductory sociology class
This is a well considered and interesting book. I used it to introduce my Law students to other approaches to knowledge and learning and to allow us to consider the implications of social change on professional practice.