By W. G. Runciman
Very diversified, yet a lot the Same takes as its start line the distribution of political, ideological, and financial strength among English society's constituent roles from the time whilst Daniel Defoe used to be writing Robinson Crusoe, and argues that Defoe may locate it remarkably comparable 3 centuries later regardless of all of the alterations in know-how, life, facilities, ideals, attitudes, norms, and values during which he may doubtless be astonished.
The disjunction among the 2 is defined through bringing to undergo the procedure of present evolutionary sociological idea within which the copy or extinction of a society's institutional practices is traced to selective environmental pressures that are autonomous of the non-public factors and subjective reports of the members whose practices they're. it truly is extra argued that the premiums of excessive absolute and occasional relative social mobility that sociologists have documented intimately for the 20 th century are inclined to were a lot an analogous in the course of the eighteenth and 19th centuries. the belief drawn is that for so long as the rustic was once no longer defeated in a ecu conflict, the chance of an intensive swap in institutional distribution of energy was once tremendous low all through, besides the fact that a lot modern observers or later historians could have both welcomed or deplored it.
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Extra resources for Very Different, But Much the Same: The Evolution of English Society Since 1714
Foord, ‘The waning of the “inﬂuence of the Crown” ’, English Historical Review 62 (1947), p. 506. 36 Very Different, But Much the Same of a belief that earthly misfortunes are a punishment which only a regeneration of both private and public virtue can expiate. To the Evangelicals, therefore, those who rejected their injunctions were sinful, whereas to the Utilitarians those who rejected theirs were merely foolish. But by both, as by Dissenters more generally and by the more liberal-minded Anglicans, a role within the state came to be culturally deﬁned less as a personal perquisite than as a public trust.
After 1959, the Life Peerages Act brought into Parliament a growing intake of partyappointed placemen (and women) selected entirely by patronage. The ‘pressure groups’, as they were now called, seeking to inﬂuence ministerial policy used personal connections no differently from their eighteenth-century counterparts who had lobbied backbench members of the House of Commons to introduce bills favourable to the interests of themselves and their local associates. The boundary separating practices culturally deﬁned as corrupt from practices accepted as a necessary and therefore venial aspect of political life remained both ﬂuid and indistinct.
Implicit in that question is the suspicion that there is an inherent irreconcilability between the different pictures of a society that its different members carry in their heads, and that this irreconcilability derives not so much from the differences they observe in how people behave towards one another as from the different idioms in which they conceptualize their observations. The vocabulary of social differentiation is a long-standing topic in cultural history, with a rich and extensive literature of its own.