1st Edition

Social Change Globalization from the Stone Age to the Present

By Christopher Chase-Dunn, Bruce Lerro Copyright 2014

    From the Stone Age to the Internet Age, this book tells the story of human sociocultural evolution. It describes the conditions under which hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, agricultural states, and industrial capitalist societies formed, flourished, and declined. Drawing evidence from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, historical documents, statistics, and survey research, the authors trace the growth of human societies and their complexity, and they probe the conflicts in hierarchies both within and among societies. They also explain the macro-micro links that connect cultural evolution and history with the development of the individual self, thinking processes, and perceptions. Key features of the text Designed for undergraduate and graduate social science classes on social change and globalization topics in sociology, world history, cultural geography, anthropology, and international studies. Describes the evolution of the modern capitalist world-system since the fourteenth century BCE, with coverage of the rise and fall of system leaders: the Dutch in the seventeenth century, the British in the nineteenth century, and the United States in the twentieth century. Provides a framework for analyzing patterns of social change. Includes numerous tables, figures, and illustrations throughout the text. Supplemented by framing part introductions, suggested readings at the end of each chapter, an end of text glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography. Offers a web-based auxiliary chapter on Indigenous North American World-Systems and a companion website with excel data sets and additional web links for students.

    Part I The Framework Chapter 1 History and Social Evolution Chapter 2 The Comparative World-Systems Approach Chapter 3 Biological Bases of Social Evolution Chapter 4 Building a Social Self: The Macro-Micro Link Part II Stateless Systems Chapter 5 World-Systems of Foragers Chapter 6 The Gardeners Web Chapter Indigenous North American World-Systems before the Rise of Chiefs Chapter 7 The Sacred Chiefs Part III State-Based Systems Chapter 8 The Temple and the Palace Chapter 9 Public Spaces, Self, and Cognitive Evolution in Early States Chapter 10 The Early Empires: Semiperipheral Conquerors and Capitalist City-States Chapter 11 The Central System Part IV The Long Rise of Capitalism Chapter 12 The Long Rise of the West Chapter 13 The Modern World-System Chapter 14 The Early Modern Systems in the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries Chapter 15 The Global Nineteenth Century Chapter 16 Public Spaces, Individualism, and Cognition in the Modern Age Chapter 17 The Twentieth-Century Age of Extremes Chapter 18 The World-System since 1945: Another Wave of Globalization, Hegemony, and Revolutions Chapter 19 Late Globalization: The Early Twenty-First Century Chapter 20 The Next Three Futures: Another Round of US Hegemony, Global Collapse, or Global Democracy?


    Christopher Chase-Dunn, Bruce Lerro

    “An extraordinarily comprehensive compilation and integration of everything we know or think we know about the long-term trajectory of human social constructions. Extremely useful and provocative.”
    —Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

    “This extraordinary book shows how human societies have evolved, not in self-contained groups but from the outside in…. A unique feature of the book is the micro-macro link, interweaving the development of individual self and mind with changes in networks of globalization….Chase-Dunn and Lerro have produced a combination of textbook and masterpiece.”
    —Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania

    "With a narrative spanning many millennia, this book adds a double analytical edge that makes it special. As we would expect from Chris Chase-Dunn, his world-systems analysis is majestically done but with a new twist that brings individuals to the fore. This is achieved by teaming up with a sociohistorical psychologist, Bruce Lerro, to integrate the changing nature of people into the story. The resulting combination of system and self is truly ground breaking."

    —Peter Taylor, Professor of Human Geography, Northumbria University

    "There is absolutely nothing like this extraordinary resource for courses studying long-term globalization. All kudos to the authors for pulling off this achievement.

    —William R. Thompson, Indiana University

    "In this remarkable book, Chase-Dunn and Lerro have accomplished what no other writer on world system dynamics has ever done: A complete history of the evolution of human societies from nomadic hunting and gathering to the present from the perspective of inter-societal dynamics, or world-system processes. It is both a book filled with substantive descriptions and analytical distinctions that make a difference in how social scientists and historians are to understand the long-term evolution of societies from their beginnings to the present. Moreover, it is filled with topics not often covered within the world systems empirical tradition, such as the cognitive changes that accompany movement from simple to ever-more complex sociocultural formations, the biological bases of social evolution, the relationship between history and evolution, the public sphere in early modern systems, the rise of individualism, and so many topics that, at first glance seem tangential but, on second glance, are fundamental to understanding societies and inter-societal systems from their early beginning among settled hunter-gathers to the current global era.

    The writing is intended for all audience-students, professional scholars, and lay persons alike-but the analysis is anything but simplistic. The authors have accomplished something that is very difficult to bring of: a comprehensive, in-depth, and analytically sophisticated argument that is easy to read and understand. This is a book that I will keep handy on my shelf as a constant reference for the fascinating historical details along with sophisticated theoretical analysis of key dynamic of long-term social change in human societies."

    —Jonathan H. Turner, University Professor, University of California-Riverside