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Power, Trust, and Meaning

Essays in Sociological Theory and Analysis

S. N. Eisenstadt is well known for his wide-ranging investigations of modernization, social stratification, revolution, comparative civilization, and political development. This collection of twelve major theoretical essays spans more than forty years of research, to explore systematically the bases of human action and society.

Framed by a new introduction and an extensive epilogue, which are themselves important statements about processes of institutional formations and cultural creativity, the essays trace the major developments of contemporary sociological theory and analysis. Examining themes of trust and solidarity among immigrants, youth groups, and generations, and in friendships, kinships, and patron-client relationships, Eisenstadt explores larger questions of social structure and agency, conflict and change, and the reconstitution of the social order. He looks also at political and religious systems, paying particular attention to great historical empires and the major civilizations.

United by what they reveal about three major dimensions of social life—power, trust, and meaning—these essays offer a vision of culture as both a preserving and a transforming aspect of social life, thus providing a new perspective on the relations between culture and social structure.

414 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1995

Sociology: Theory and Sociology of Knowledge

Table of Contents

Introduction: Social Structure, Culture, Agency, and Change
1: The Place of Elites and Primary Groups in the Absorption of New Immigrants in Israel
2: Reference Group Behavior and Social Integration: An Explorative Study
3: Archetypal Patterns of Youth
4: Institutionalization and Change
5: Social Change, Differentiation, and Evolution
6: Societal Goals, Systemic Needs, Social Interaction, and Individual
Behavior: Some Tentative Explorations
7: Symbolic Structures and Social Dynamics with Special Reference to
Studies of Modernization
8: Charisma and Institution Building: Max Weber and Modern Sociology
9: Patron-Client Relations as a Model of Structuring Social Exchange
Schmuel Eisenstadt, Luis Roniger.
10: Prestige, Participation, and Strata Formation
11: Culture and Social Structure Revisited
12: The Order-maintaining and Order-transforming Dimensions of Culture
13: Action, Resources, Structure, and Meaning

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