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It was during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of the Industrial Revolution that sociology was born. Life was changing quickly and the long-established traditions of the agricultural eras did not apply to life in the larger cities. Masses of people were moving to new environments and often found themselves faced with horrendous conditions of filth, overcrowding, and poverty. Social scientists emerged to study the relationship between the individual members of society and society as a whole.

It was during this time that power moved from the hands of the aristocracy and “old money” to business-savvy newcomers who amassed fortunes in their lifetimes. Families such as the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts became the new power players and used their influence in business to control aspects of government as well. Eventually, concerns over the exploitation of workers led to the formation of labor unions and laws that set mandatory conditions for employees. Although the introduction of new technology at the end of the nineteenth century ended the industrial age, much of our social structure and social ideas—like family, childhood, and time standardization—have a basis in industrial society.

Photo of John D. Rockefeller.
John D. Rockefeller, cofounder of the Standard Oil Company, came from an unremarkable family of salesmen and menial laborers. By his death at age 98, he was worth $1.4 billion. In industrial societies, business owners such as Rockefeller hold the majority of the power. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Postindustrial society

Information societies , sometimes known as postindustrial or digital societies, are a recent development. Unlike industrial societies    that are rooted in the production of material goods, information societies are based on the production of information and services.

Digital technology is the steam engine of information societies, and computer moguls such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are its John D. Rockefellers and Cornelius Vanderbilts. Since the economy of information societies is driven by knowledge and not material goods, power lies with those in charge of storing and distributing information. Members of a postindustrial society are likely to be employed as sellers of services—software programmers or business consultants, for example—instead of producers of goods. Social classes are divided by access to education, since without technical skills, people in an information society lack the means for success.

Summary

Societies are classified according to their development and use of technology. For most of human history, people lived in preindustrial societies characterized by limited technology and low production of goods. After the Industrial Revolution, many societies based their economies around mechanized labor, leading to greater profits and a trend toward greater social mobility. At the turn of the new millennium, a new type of society emerged. This postindustrial, or information, society is built on digital technology and nonmaterial goods.

Short answer

In which type or types of societies do the benefits seem to outweigh the costs? Explain your answer, and cite social and economic reasons.

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Is Gerhard Lenski right in classifying societies based on technological advances? What other criteria might be appropriate, based on what you have read?

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Further research

The Maasai are a modern pastoral society with an economy largely structured around herds of cattle. Read more about the Maasai people and see pictures of their daily lives here: (External Link)

References

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 2005. “Israel: Treatment of Bedouin, Including Incidents of Harassment, Discrimination or Attacks; State Protection (January 2003–July 2005)”, Refworld, July 29. Retrieved February 10, 2012 ( (External Link) ). 

Kjeilen, Tore. “Bedouin.” Looklex.com. Retrieved February 17, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

University of Michigan. n.d. "The Curse of Oil in Ogoniland". Retrieved January 2, 2015 (http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/cases_03-04/Ogoni/Ogoni_case_study.htm).

Questions & Answers

AGIL by talcott parson
Muhammad Reply
A-adaptation G_goal attainment I- integrate L latecy
Gh
given by talcott parson for family.......... ....
Gh
parsons
aditya
relevance of psychology
Vitus
With a vivid examples explain why social problems are health problems
T-
social problems like unemployment creates a feeling of unworthiness, criticism, which affects psychologically and affect self esteem and trust towards self...
manisha
poverty problems creates no proper medical facilities which in further leads to health deterioration
manisha
forceful dowery practices leads to poverty and tension to self which affects health too.
manisha
caste system creates no equality among people which makes people feel alienation towards society which further leads to mentally sick and depression
manisha
family dispute affects children's environment as parents couldn't abled to focus on children as a result brings poor healthy environment and improper development
manisha
westernization may also led to health problems in individuals in society
Gh
Manisha your are now study Bs or Master
Abshar
I mean Bs on socialogy
Abshar
superstitious practices in the name of religion do affect health.
manisha
master
manisha
is Karl Marx a sociologist ?
Gh
GH Hassan yes he is a sociologist
Avantika
but a book namely sociological theory by George ritzer mentions that he was not an socilogist
Gh
but I think he is
Avantika
he mentioned in his book he was an economist not sociologist as max Weber has already said
Gh
ya he is also giving so many theories in economics
Avantika
like multiplier
Avantika
but George ritzer has also said that he always talk about revloutions which were not good for society ..... as Comte has also said that intellectual disorder can cause social disoder ... Karl Marx says intellectual disorder is good for society... how now we can call him sociologist
Gh
we r reading in sociology that means he was sociologist. in real life this doesn't matter who he was... only important for exams
manisha
other social problems like rape, child labour, sexual molestation, human trafficking also causes health.
manisha
health problems
manisha
can any one help me
Vijay
contemporary society?
Vijay
manisha are reading for exam purposes only or to clear a concept
Gh
clear concept
Vijay
if once we clear concept no one can stop us from writing ..... whether in exams or in other compatative exams(manisha)
Gh
can you plz tell me about?
Vijay
both :)
manisha
yes
Vijay
yah
Salahuddin
what is culture
Salahuddin
according to Edward Tylor culture is complex whole which include knowledge, beliefs,art,law, morals, custom n any other capabilities n habits acquired by man as a member of society..
manisha
Culture is the social behavior andnorms found in human societies.
Gh
can we define sociology a voice of people if yes then how?
Gh Reply
theories defined "what"
Ambe Reply
theory define "what" whereas the problems of method which gives the question "how" explain
Ambe
something suggested as a reasonable explanation for facts, a condition, or an event
Gh
what is difference between westernization and modernization?
Gh Reply
what is sociology in nursing
Anita Reply
I don't know pls can you tell me
jibrin
hello
jibrin
hi!! what about you want to know?
Emile
i also dnt no
Fremah
yeah I want to know pls
jibrin
do have any idea about it
jibrin
is this sociology question?
manisha
what is defiance?
Annas
what are you asking about
jibrin
Hi
max
What is sociology
max
Sociology is a study under the social sciences that looks on the behavior, history, growth, structure, and groups that encompass society.
T-
Wow you get it
jibrin
Defiance is behaviour or an attitude which shows that you are not willing to obey someone.
T-
thanks a lot ..@T-Tommy
Annas
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Kashmiri
Sociology is defined as a study of human behavior inside the societal context. ... Basically, there exist two kinds of sociological knowledge in the nursingcourse: sociology in nursing and sociologyof nursing.
Gh
wat are d different between qualitative method and guantitative
Ambe
according to you why are Aristotle a proto sociologist
Ambe
pls someone should kindly help and answered this questions plssss
Ambe
Q: How can we think sociologically?
Gh Reply
What is dramaturgy in sociology?
Gh
it is an element of human interaction depends upon time place and audience.... @GH
Parwaz
dramaturgy concept was given by.......
Gh
Erving Goffman in his 1959 book
Parwaz
OK thanks
Gh
intellectual disorder is the cause of social disoder how and why?
Gh Reply
can we call Karl Marx a sociologist ?
Gh
i want key answers of this book...
Syedimam
sociological theory by George ritzer
Gh
what is difference between Mind and brain?
Gh Reply
The ability to think and distinguish human from animals. The brain represents the content within the human skull and is responsible for all the processes of nerve in the body and control the work of its members,
Suha
thanks
Gh
Cultural diversity in similar and homogeneous societies is the cultural integration between them is simpler and closer. give me an example ?
Suha Reply
What are the new cultures that we can accept and be useful to us?
Suha
cultures vary from society to society so it is impossible to say that which culture is good for society e.g if my society wears a jeans pent it is not necessarily that all societies should wear a jeans
Gh
There is no culture that we can accept as a whole. We accept cultural traits as every unitary trait is not acceptable or adaptable.
Sadiq
Every trait that is normal to us is acceptable in todays world we can accept the material culture more than the non-material one.
Sadiq
Thanks.
Suha
How to adjustement of change cultural? give me one example?
Suha Reply
if we bloc with each other then we change culture..!
Mohammad
pls an example?
Suha
by resocialisation
Mustapha
Please ask again your question is ambiguous.
Sadiq
Do you mean how can we adjust to the cultural change?
Sadiq
what is religion according to Emile durkheim
Gh Reply
what are the values in socilogy
aditya Reply
r u doing master or attempting UPSC exams
manisha
Am not masters am just finished 12grade this year
Kal
I wanna learn sociology
Kal
ok from which country?
manisha
Ethiopia
Kal
From Africa, Ethiopia
Kal
hi.
reza
what is the subject?
reza
Manisha pls explain what is positivism ?
Abshar
they are observers
reza
use natural experiment
reza
Capable of logical or mathimatcal proof
Kal
exactly
reza
exactly again
kema
positivism method is deductive
reza
expriment
reza
hi
Gr
Positivists believe that sociology can and should use the same methods and approaches to study the social world that “natural” sciences such as biology and physics use to investigate the physical world.
manisha
Positivists believe that good, scientific research should reveal objective truths about the causes of social action – science tells us that water boils at 100 degrees and this is true irrespective of what the researcher thinks – good social research should tell us similar things about social action
manisha
Because positivists want to uncover the general laws that shape human behaviour, they are interested in looking at society as a whole. They are interested in explaining patterns of human behaviour or general social trends. In other words, they are interested in getting to the ‘bigger picture’.
manisha
To do this, positivists use quantitative methods such as official statistics, structured questionnaires and social surveysThese methods also allow the researcher to remain relatively detached from the research process – this way, the values of the researcher should not interfere with the results
manisha
An example of the Positivist tradition in Sociological research – Durkheim’s cross national study of suicide in 1897. 
manisha
Durkheim believed that if he could prove that one of the most individual acts any human being could perform, that is, killing himself or herself, could be explained through social factors, then surely any action could be examined in such a way. 
manisha
Manisha would you please send me an answer of? " Subject Matter of Sociology " brief and Comprehensive
Sakhawat
positivist is also criticised by interpretivist
manisha
Manisha tnx u explain very will my interest is on socialogy I am waiting for admission of socialogy department because now I am the student of fsc....
Abshar
Hello
Tanam
hi
Pashtoon
hi
Emmanuel
hello just wanna know more on sociology
Tambi
what is social status
Bryan
Sociology is scientific study of society pattern of social relationships social interaction & development of structural of human society
Kal
Social status is a position of a person or a group withn society
Kal
thankz
Bryan
what is theory
Bryan
For example if u don't gain social status evaluate for ur self &social status won't be important
Kal
Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person's behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations
Gh
what is the main cause of emergence of sociology
Gh Reply
To know what is affecting us in our society.
Adil
for e.g
Gh
The enlightenment&industrial initiated revolution, in England
Kal
rise of socialism and femanism can we say these may be cause for emergence
Gh
Its because of France, auguests comet, to rebuild France society into peaceful "science of society "
Kal
how to acceptance a new cultural?
Suha Reply
Suha sorry little word but Google will help you
Abshar
Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society. Through culture, people and groups define themselves, conform to society's shared values, and contribute to society.
Abshar
what is the difference between nature n narture?
Syedimam
what is contemporary society
Vijay
What is the difference between the social & society
Inzamam
'Society' describes something related to society that is used in a more scholarly/formal setting and 'social' just has a context that depends on the situation.
Gh
Nature refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are—from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics.
Gh
Nurture refers to all the environmental variables that impact who we are, including our early childhood experiences, how we were raised, our social relationships, and our surrounding culture.
Gh
what is Fordism ?
Gh Reply
Can anyone suggest some basic books for sociology.. With proper understanding content?
Akriti Reply
basic book of C.N Shankar Rao I.e basic principles of Sociology.....
Gh
N book's name?
Akriti
Some other books?
Akriti
Ram Ahuja book Indian social system
Gh
S.C .Dubey book evloution of Indian society
Gh

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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