Title

Folk theory of social change

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

People have a folk theory of social change (FTSC). A typical Western FTSC stipulates that as a society becomes more industrialized, it undergoes a natural course of social change, in which a communal society marked by communal relationships becomes a qualitatively different, agentic society where market-based exchange relationships prevail. People use this folk theory to predict a society's future and estimate its past, to understand contemporary cross-cultural differences, and to make decisions about social policies. Nonetheless, the FTSC is not particularly consistent with the existing cross-cultural research on industrialization and cultural differences, and needs to be examined carefully.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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