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Society Its Origin and Development   By: (1869-1941)

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SOCIETY

ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

BY HENRY KALLOCH ROWE, Ph.D.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY IN NEWTON THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTION

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK CHICAGO BOSTON

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

PREFACE

In studying biology it is convenient to make cross sections of laboratory specimens in order to determine structure, and to watch plants and animals grow in order to determine function. There seems to be no good reason why social life should not be studied in the same way. To take a child in the home and watch it grow in the midst of the life of the family, the community, and the larger world, and to cut across group life so as to see its characteristics, its interests, and its organization, is to study sociology in the most natural way and to obtain the necessary data for generalization. To attempt to study sociological principles without this preliminary investigation is to confuse the student and leave him in a sea of vague abstractions.

It is not because of a lack of appreciation of the abstract that the emphasis of this book is on the concrete. It is written as an introduction to the study of the principles of sociology, and it may well be used as a prelude to the various social sciences. It is natural that trained sociologists should prefer to discuss the profound problems of their science, and should plunge their pupils into material for study where they are soon beyond their depth; much of current life seems so obvious and so simple that it is easy to forget that the college man or woman has never looked upon it with a discriminating eye or with any attempt to understand its meaning. If this is true of the college student, it is unquestionably true of the men and women of the world. The writer believes that there is need of a simple, untechnical treatment of human society, and offers this book as a contribution to the practical side of social science. He writes with the undergraduate continually in mind, trying to see through his eyes and to think with his mind, and the references are to books that will best meet his needs and that are most readily accessible. It is expected that the pupil will read widely, and that the instructor will show how principles and laws are formulated from the multitude of observations of social phenomena. The last section of the book sums up briefly some of the scientific conclusions that are drawn from the concrete data, and prepares the way for a more detailed and technical study.

If sociology is to have its rightful place in the world it must become a science for the people. It must not be permitted to remain the possession of an aristocracy of intellect. The heart of thousands of social workers who are trying to reform society and cure its ills is throbbing with sympathy and hope, but there is much waste of energy and misdirection of zeal because of a lack of understanding of the social life that they try to cure. They and the people to whom they minister need an interpretation of life in social terms that they can understand. Professional persons of all kinds need it. A world that is on the verge of despair because of the breakdown of harmonious human relations needs it to reassure itself of the value and the possibility of normal human relations. Doubtless the presentation of the subject is imperfect, but if it meets the need of those who find difficulty in using more technical discussions and opens up a new field of interest to many who hitherto have not known the difference between sociology and socialism, the effort at interpretation will have been worth while.

HENRY K. ROWE

NEWTON CENTRE, MASSACHUSETTS... Continue reading book >>




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