Society, culture, development

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Sage Publications, 1991 - Business & Economics - 265 pages
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"The effort is impressive and the range of issues covered, both theoretical and practical, extensive.... It addresses some of the most crucial questions of the day regarding the direction of conceptualization in the social sciences, the role of social scientists under post-modern conditions, and the meaning of development beyond economics. For these reasons the study deserves a wide audience and should generate much discussion." --Social Indicators Research Drawing a sequential relation between the concepts of society, culture, and development, this unique volume presents an original approach toward understanding and appraising social reality. Mukherjee strives to harness social science thinking in order to study developmental processes in the context of the emerging relationship between nation-states and the world system. In doing so, he develops a remarkable synthesis from the diverse strands of thought and research in the social sciences that have evolved over the last two centuries. Mukherjee establishes a methodological breakthrough by treating economy, polity, and culture as symbiotic variables rather than as independent, dependent, of intervening variables. By positing survival, security, prosperity, and progress as the cardinal values of people in organizations, the author focuses on patterns of variability (ordinal valuations) which emerge and thereby differentiate one configuration of people from others. It is in this context that Mukherjee argues for appraising social reality of what he calls the process-structure-process syndrome, rather than the conventional social science approach which views society in a state of static or relative equilibrium. This conceptual clarity is then applied to examine the role of culture in development, which not only resolves the issues of economic growth versus social development, but also provides a sound methodological base for studying comparative development. This distinctive contribution to social theory and social science methodology will not only serve as supplementary reading for graduate students in several social science fields, but will be particularly valuable for those interested in culture issues--conflict, policy research, comparative development, and social change. "The importance of the book lies in its methodological approach, whereby economy, polity, and culture are treated as symbiotic variables within a system rather than independently. Thus, the approach breaks new ground for the study of comparative development and would be of great use to students of sociology, who are concerned with the issues of culture conflict, policy research, comparative development, and social change." --Pakistan Development Review "[Mukherjee's] latest book is a product of his stimulating discussions on society, culture and development with students and colleagues in some of the American universities. He draws his insight from some of his experiences in our society. That makes the book all the more valuable for Indian students. . . . Reading of the notes which are detailed and comprehensive is rewarding. That certainly enriches the value of the book." --Indian Book Chronicle

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