By Simon Langlois, Theodore Caplow
Traits in fertility decline, intergenerational family members, faith and secularization, ecological pursuits, employment and labour-market adjustments, own authority, and social clash are tested. This research indicates an unmistakable convergence of social tendencies other than within the area of faith. but if the interconnection of those tendencies inside every one nationwide society is tested, unforeseen divergences are published. There are parallel tendencies in demography, association of construction, nationwide associations, social practices, and life-style, and divergent tendencies in social inequality, social events, and native associations. obstacles among social periods have eroded and whatever that will be known as multidimensional stratification has emerged, the diminution of violence in social conflicts implies an expanding quantity of negotiation, and all different types of own authority were weakened. The transformation of the kin constitution isn't any doubt probably the most very important alterations in western civilization. The cross-national analyses of modern social traits aid us to evaluate either convergence and divergence and to spot emergent singularities. Does convergence of traits suggest those societies face a typical future? With recognize to traits so powerful that they act as exogenous variables, the answer's certain. even if, with recognize to the responses these developments elicit within the context of a specific society, the answer's no. vast convergence of developments doesn't suggest that societies face a uniform destiny.
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Extra info for Convergence or Divergence? Comparing Recent Social Trends in Industrial Societies
Table 1 reproduces the set of CCSC trends within which our reading indicated essential similarity across the four societies. The list is long and varied. Age structures and aspects of family structure obviously reflect a common evolution among the four societies, as do a large number of dimensions involving the fitting of workers to work, which is itself seen as in many ways moving in common patterns across the four societies. There are clearly common developments in the institutional 3 On this point see Lemel and Modell, "Introduction," in Caplow et al.
Their purpose is to understand how a particular model functions, and each society represents a case study. Attention is thus directed immediately to the differences among societies rather than to their similarities. Our concern, being broader, favours neither similarity nor difference. We may gain some sense of how similar the overall concurrence actually is by using a classic probabilistic approach. 5% - very considerably less than 60%. In a statistical sense, with as many trends as we have examined, such a difference could hardly occur by chance alone.
The pertinence of women's participation in the labour force arises from the observation of an inverse correlation between fertility and female labour force participation that has, until very recently at least, been a constant of postwar industrial society. Although there is a wide consensus in the literature on the correlation between the two, there is not the same agreement as to the dynamics and direction of a possible relationship. Whether fewer children permit women to work more outside the home, or whether the decision to enter or stay in the labour market deters women from having more children is not an essential question here.