The Sociology of Progress

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1998 - Social Science - 272 pages
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In a society where a comic equates with knockabout amusment for children, the sudden pre-eminence of adult comics, on everything from political satire to erotic fantasy, has predictably attracted an enormous amount of attention.

Adult comics are part of the cultural landscape in a way that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In this first survey of its kind, Roger Sabin traces the history of comics for older readers from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. He takes in the pioneering titles pre-First World War, the underground 'comix' of the 1960s and 1970s, 'fandom' in the 1970s and 1980s, and the boom of the 1980s and 1990s (including 'graphic novels' and Viz.). Covering comics from the United States, Europe and Japan, Adult Comics addresses such issues as the graphic novel in context, cultural overspill and the role of women.

By taking a broad sweep, Sabin demonstrates that the widely-held notion that comics 'grew up' in the late 1980s is a mistaken one, largely invented by the media. Adult Comics: An Introduction is intended primarily for student use, but is written with the comic enthusiast very much in mind.

  

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Contents

The roots of the idea of progress
3
Progress and the European enlightenment
16
Progress through order and progress through
34
Progress and evolution
56
The decline of optimism
72
Two concepts of progress
111
The sociological ethic 1
137
The sociological ethic 2
147
The search for functional requisites
164
Needs morals and society
189
The sociological theory of progress and some
203
Progress and some problems of the sociology
217
Conclusion
231
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