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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

3 - How Societies Change

from Part I - Making Sense of Transformations


Chapter 3 – How societies change – presents some key examples of how historians, anthropologists, economists, and other academics have tried to come to grips with the agents and drivers of previous societal transformations. We cite examples of how the great Western transformation between 1500 and 1900 has been framed in different ways. Furthermore, we present two analogies of transformations: the abolition of slavery, and the replacement of horse transport in cities with automobile transport. This constitutes the basis for a typology of societal transformations based on the system levels and tempo of transformations.