By David Brown, Michael J. Harrison (auth.)
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Extra info for A Sociology of Industrialisation: an introduction
In the terminology of this discussion, such generalisations would lead to either statements of sociological triviality or of sociological untruth. The question that arises is how sociologists have attempted to extricate themselves from this dilemma. It would be pretentious to describe the totality ofthe discipline's attempts to deal with this central problem in a few brief lines. However, the crudest response to this problem is the building of'types' which attempt to categorise the most notable characteristics of societies in terms of gross similarities and differences.
209) was a uniquely European phenomenon, the degree to wh ich this category dominated the mind and actions of men was more extreme in England with the advent of industry than at any time before, or - and this is crucially significant - since. Second, the impact of this unique separation of the 'economic' from the political and social has had an impact on man's views of himself and his social relationships way beyond the confines of the British Isles, the notion of a 'sclf-regulating economy' to which political and social relationships are subordinated, the notion of a society subscribing to the model of the free play of supply and demand has had political and social, as well as intellectual, implications which have structured confticts decisively throughout the world.
The relationship between the technico-economic structure and political contral is perhaps the major source of difference between industrial societies and these variations between them the major source of conflict between them. Nevertheless, the emergence of a distinct phenomenon which we call an 'economy', of which technology in the form of capital is an essential part, is Industrialisation as a Phenomenon 23 one of the truly modern breaks with the known past. We take this so much for gran ted that it would be a salutary exercise to consider a case of this emergence of a distinct 'economy' from the matrix of wider social relationships.