An Analysis of Jared M. Diamond's Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive book cover
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An Analysis of Jared M. Diamond's Collapse
How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive





ISBN 9781912128686
Published July 21, 2017 by Macat Library
108 Pages

 
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Book Description

American scholar Jared Diamond deploys his powers of interpretation to great effect in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, which seeks to understand the meaning behind the available evidence describing societies that have survived and those that have withered and died.

Why, for example, did the Norsemen of Scandinavia who colonized Greenland in the early tenth century not survive, while the inhabitants of Highland New Guinea did? With the evidence to hand, Diamond notes that a society’s collapse tends to be preceded by a severe reduction in population and considerable decreases in political, economic and social complexity. Delving even deeper, Diamond isolates five major factors determine the success or failure of human societies in all periods of history: environmental degradation, which occurs when an ecosystem deteriorates as its resources are exhausted; climate change (natural or man-made); hostile neighbors; weakened trading partners; and access or otherwise to the resources that enable the society to adapt its challenges.

The breadth of Diamond’s research provides the springboard from which to reach these definitions, but it inevitably also introduces complications; how can evidence produced by specialists in so many different disciplines be compared? Diamond’s ability to understand the meaning of the evidence at hand – and his readiness to seek and supply clarifications of meaning where necessary – underpin his achievement, and comprise a textbook example of how interpretative skills can provide a framework for strong critical thinking.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text 

Who is Jared Diamond? 

What does Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive Say?

Why does Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive Matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

 Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

 Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr Rodolfo Maggio holds a masters degree in anthropology from the London School of Economics and a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Manchester. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.