Weaving Golden Threads: Integrating Social Theory
- Bob Blain
- August, 2010
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About this book
Unique among textbooks in the social sciences, Weaving Golden Threads integrates concepts from Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and many others into the same theory and tests it with data from all the countries of the world in 1986 and 2008.
Teaching aids include: the board and computer simulation Cooperation: The Wealth of Nations Game, named in honor of Adam Smith and Edward Bellamy that lets students compare barter, communism, socialism, capitalism and, beyond capitalism, a system with time money called autonomy, and the spreadsheet program At the Controls of Spaceship Earth inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller that has students select countries and see how changing conditions affects their well-being.
Contents (including sample chapters)
- Chapter 1 What is a Theory? (sample chapter)
- Chapter 2 What Makes a Theory Social?
- Chapter 3 Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan
- Chapter 4 Adam Smith’s Free Market
- Chapter 5 Auguste Comte’s “Sociology”
- Chapter 6 Karl Marx’s Class Struggle
- Chapter 7 Max Weber’s Bureaucracy
- Chapter 8 The Wisdom of Weaving
- Chapter 9 Life Time
- Chapter 10 Entropy
- Chapter 11 Ruth Benedict’s Synergy
- Chapter 12 Information Chain Length (sample chapter)
- Chapter 13 Symbols and ICL
- Chapter 14 Testing Theory
- Chapter 15 Literacy and National Well-th
- Chapter 16 Numbers and Wealth
- Chapter 17 Money Communication
- Chapter 18 Weaving Symbols In
- Chapter 19 Durkheim’s Dynamic Density
- Chapter 20 The Hierarchy of Codes
- Chapter 21 The Hierarchy of Tools
- Chapter 22 The Hierarchy of Motives
- Chapter 23 Population and the Birth Rate
- Chapter 24 An Integrated Social Theory
- Chapter 25 Applications
- Chapter 26 Economic Democracy
Full chapter and subchapter list inlcuding list of figures and tables.
About the author
As a graduate student and teaching assistant of Talcott Parsons at Harvard in the early 1960s, Bob began to recast Parsons’ AGIL four function paradigm into the information chain paradigm and theory that developed over his 40+ year career to their present form. It explains that human well‐being depends on the scale of cooperation that in turn depends on: 1) reducing the information lost as people relay messages and 2) increasing people’s ability to cooperate autonomously.
Now internationally published and emeritus professor of sociology, Bob received his Masters degree in sociology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and taught sociology at Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.