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Title: Theories of Social Change by Richard P. Appelbaum; Socio-Cultural Dynamics: An Introduction to Social Change by Francis R. Allen

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Theories of Social Change by Richard P. Appelbaum; Socio-Cultural Dynamics: An Introduction
to Social Change by Francis R. Allen
Review by: Santosh Kumar Nandy
American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 75, No. 4 (Aug., 1973), pp. 995-997
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
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Developmentand Change
Anthropology. GLYNN
COCHRANE.New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. 125 pp., bibliography,
index. $5.00 (cloth).
Universityof Wisconsin,Parkside

plied anthropologydeservesrethinking;however, one might question the utility of yet
another rubric which will dutifully be
queued up with the others in the introductory chapters of various dissertations and
texts on "applied" topics. (By the way,
whateverhappenedto action anthropology?)
In any case one has to agreewith Cochrane's
statement, "We do not need any more
anecdotes about community development.
Wedo urgentlyneed a rigorousand systematic
analysis of what other disciplines have to
offer and a better idea of what they need
from anthropology" (p. 29). In addition to
calling for a scientifically sound and useful
anthropologyof development, Cochraneencouragesthe development of what he rather
awkwardly calls, "general practitioner anthropologists" responsive to communities
and nations. These individuals would be
trained at the graduatelevel in anthropology
with supplementarytrainingin variousareas
such as agriculture,developmenteconomics,
education, forestry, law, and public administration. This sounds reasonable, but as
Cochrane notes, "could jobs be provided?"
(p. 31).
Cochrane suggests that under the rubric
of development anthropology there be an
increasedand more effective involvementby
trained anthropologists in the affairs of
development. That's good, but one may
reasonably suggest that it is too late. The
reasons are many and perhaps obvious.
These include: the emergenceof the concept
of cultural imperialism which provides a
rationale for interculturalisolation; the increasing recognition of the value of nongrowth as it is rooted in the burgeoning
ecological rhetoric; the prior commitment
by many developingcountriesand communities to development strategiesbased on nonanthropological disciplines, and the rapid
development of various community based,
political power movementswhich consistently reject the participation of the "expert"

Glynn Cochrane's spirited essay deals
with various conceptual problems which
have limited the development of appliedanthropology, community development, and
development administration.It is an essay of
useful and aggressivelystated opinion to
which anthropologistsinterested in development should respond. Cochrane's opinions
focus on a number of topics which include:
the failureof anthropologyas it has been applied to developmentadministration;the role
of the expert in developmentadvisorywork;
the tension which exists between anthropologists and administratorsin the field, and
the potential development policy implications of economic and legal anthropology.
One may question Cochrane'sexposition
techniques(at times it readsas a letter to the
editor with footnotes) and his attack on the
work of Niehoff, Spicer, and Goodenough
(whose work I have found useful in training
community level workers). Potential criticisms aside, his statementsare refreshingand
useful, suggestive perhaps of an applied anthropological "Emperor's New Clothes."
Cochrane, a junior member of the applied
anthropology "court," is attempting to say
through this essay that, "things aren't what
you all are pretendingthey are."
The essential core of Cochrane'swork is
what he
his attempt to define and
refers to as "development
Development anthropology may be construed as a conceptual replacement for
applied anthropology. The investigativefoci
of development anthropology would not be
determined by "academicconvenience" but
by the "exigencies" of the development
situation. In these terms the ethical reference frame would not be the scientific community but the communities and nations
that would use the services of the development anthropologist. Unfortunately, Coch- Theories of Social Change. RICHARD P.
APPELBAUM. Markham Sociology
rane does not successfullylay the conceptual
Series. Chicago:Markham,1970. vi + 138
foundation for this new sub-discipline.Ap995

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pp., chapter references. $2.95 (paper),
$7.95 (text edition).
Socio-Cultural Dynamics: An Introduction
to Social Change. FRANCISR. ALLEN.
New York: Macmillan;London: CollierMacmillan, 1971. x + 396 pp., table,
chapter annotated bibliographies, 2 indexes. $9.50 (cloth).
RichardAppelbaumagreeswith a widely
prevalent view that a satisfactory theory of
social change has not yet been formulated
and most probably will never be found. The
author discussesthe more importanttheories
of social change,especially of the "long-run"
and "large-scale"type, that have been developed since early nineteenth century. In this
connection, he also examines recent classifications of theories of social change, viz..
those of Wilbert Moore, Neil Smelser, and
Amitai Etzioni, and offers an alternative
typology of theories of social change.
The classification presented by Appelbaum consists of four broad categories of
theories, viz., evolutionary theory, equilibrium theory, conflict theory, and "riseand
fall" theory. These categories,however,"are
not mutually exclusive; they emphasize
major differences in underlyingassumptions
and their derivative approaches to social
change" (p. 9). The theories acquire their
distinctive nature especially with reference
to their treatment of the magnitude of
change, the time span of change, and the
effect of the changingunit.
Francis Allen has attempted "a general
stocktaking of the field of social change,
with special regardfor what is conceived to
be its more enduring and worthwhile elements and its directions of activity on the
currentscene" (pp. vii-viii).The more important "approaches"adopted over the times to
the study of "socio-cultural change" have
been classified by Allen as the geographical,
the racial, the evolutionary, the structuralfunctional, the cybernetic, the economic,
the technological,the demographic,the individualist, the collective behaviorist,the legal,
the ideological, the religious, the educational, the conflict, and the self-determinative
Among the more important"specific the-


ories" of socio-culturalchange, Allen deals
with those stressing immanent change
(Sorokin), social differentiation (Durkheim,
MacIver,Parsons,Moore, and Loomis), economic and technological factors (Marx,
Veblen, Ogburn),and historicaland ideological factors (Spengler, Toynbee, Kroeber,
Weber).Allen also discussesmeasurementof
socio-cultural change, innovation and resistance to innovation, diffusion, activism,
modernization in developing countries, and
social changeand social disorganization.
Neither Appelbaum nor Allen is committed to any of the existing theories of
social change. Also, neither has consideredit
timely to put forth any new theory. To
Allen, all approaches "have merit in the
sense that they illuminatesome aspect of the
subject" (p. 116). Also, "the importanceof
different factors in causing change varies
according to time, circumstance, and
especially the value emphases of the society
in question" (p. 116). As regards the
"specific theories,"none, Allen observes,yet
constitutes strict theory in Merton's sense.
The standpoint of the usefulness of all
explanationsof social changerelativeto time
and place is in conformity with the view
currentlygaininggroundin generalsociological theory that since sociology is essentially
a pluralisticenterpriseinvolvinga variety of
approaches to the complexities of social
phenomena, it is naturalthat different sociological problems would call for different
perspectivesand formulations.
However, the desirability and practicability of integration and synthesis of
approaches and theories have also been
stressed,especially by Kroeberand Sorokin.
FrancisAllen also optimisticallynotes: "The
possibility can be entertained, at any rate,
that the various theories of socio-cultural
change will someday be integrated into a
totality-undoubtedly joined, as Parsons
declares, to an integrated theory of society
itself" (p. 224). In this respect, Allen is more
optimistic than Appelbaumon the future of
the study of social change.
Appelbaum's inclusion of Max Weber's
explanation of social change in the category
of the "rise and fall" theory of Pitirim
Sorokin is questionable. With reference to
the criteriaof comparativeanalysisset up by
Appelbaum, i.e., the magnitude of change,
the time span of change, and the effect of

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the changing unit, Weber's explanation of
change would not belong to the "rise and
fall" pattern of Sorokin. Rather, Francis
Allen's assessmentof Weber'sstudy of social
changeis more accuratein that he points out
the essential difference between Sorokin's
fundamentalnotion of immanentchangeand
Weber's ideological approach, and also the
theoretical vulnerabilityof Weber'sposition
in the light of recent criticisms, in spite of
the useful implications which Weber'sstudy
of social changehave had.
These two books are worthwhile contributions to the critical literature on the
complex and rich field of social change.The
work of Francis Allen, in particular,appears
to be one of the best assessmentsof the field
of social change made in recent years, with
regard both to the analysis of ideas and
situations, and also the interpretationsthereof.

Two Blades of Grass:Rural Cooperativesin
Agricultural Modernization. PETER
WORSLEY, ed. With the assistance of
Ann Allen. Manchester:ManchesterUniversity Press (distributed in the U.S. by
Humanities Press, New York), 1971. x +
395 pp., figures, map, tables, chapter
references, bibliography, index. $15.00
Universityof Montreal
This book results from a conference held
at the University of Sussex in 1969. According to the editor, "collectivized agriculture,
cooperative working within a capitalist
market, and small-scale peasant or tribal
agriculture(or 'horticulture'),whether 'subsistence', commercial cash-crop or some
combinationof the two, are what concern us
here" (pp. 29-30).
Geographically,the twelve papers of this
book (excluding the editor's introduction)
deal with "the problems of the fate of
three-quartersof the world" (p. ix), thus
covering a wide range of village communities, regions, countries, and even continents.
As for the title Two Blades of Grass,
which may appear enigmatic, it was borrowed from Swift's Gulliver'sTravels:"who-


ever could make two ears of corn or two
blades of grass to grow upon a spot of
ground where only one grew before would
deserve better of mankind, and do more
essential service to his country, than the
whole race of politicians put together" (p.
Being given the brief space allocated for
this review, I will limit myself to a few
comments on the editor's introduction and
both parts of the book, without mentioning
individual papers, and to some critical remarks.
Worsley, in his introduction, discriminates what he terms "cooperation in the
diffuse sense" and "modern cooperation"
(p. 2). On the one hand, cooperation is very
often synonymous with division of labor,
association or even simply interaction; on
the other hand, it becomes a specific kind of
social organization,based on a variableinterplay between individualismand altruism.
Another point of interest for the anthropologists is the frequently postulated statement of a traditional communalism in
peasant and tribal societies, leading quite
naturally to modern forms of cooperation.
Quite rightly, Worsley mentions that "in
peasant society, differences in social status
which are invisible to the airport sociologist
loom very large under the anthropologist's
microscope" (p. 26). Indeed, many so-called
egalitariansocieties are more adequately explained by specific social oppositions.
The passage from a "traditional"social
setting to various forms of cooperation is
precisely the topic discussed in the first part
of the book. Several experiences are recorded in Kenya, Israel, China, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America. Various social
scientists have been trying for some time to
find how far the "traditional"organization
of peasant communities constitutes a solid
ground on which a cooperative movement,
adapted to present needs, can be built.
Roughly we find two abstractviews on that
matter. First, "the communaltenure of land
provides a material basis for a take-off into
cooperative or collective farming" (p. 43).
Secondly, "modern cooperative forms...
are the result of a long and painful transition
from a communal to an individualisticand
thence to a new collective stage" (p. 44). Of
course these two general principles cannot
explain concrete situations. In each particu-

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