Great Transformation


This course asks the question, "What brought about the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the contemporary 'capitalist, market society'?" In particular, is there a fundamental difference between the values, norms and cultures in "pre-capitalist" societies compared to post-Industrial Revolution societies? The answer to these questions depends on whether the Industrial Revolution represents an historical discontinuity - a "Great Transformation" turning-point - or whether, instead, there is more continuity in human history than the "Great Transformation" theory would have us believe. These questions are important as we try to determine whether the current market society is sustainable or whether (and where and when) we should expect a "Great Transformation" to emerge. The course will address these questions via readings from the best lessons of psychology, economics, anthropology and history, with a particular focus on data and empirical results. Classes will consist of a combination of lectures and class discussions, supplemented by individual- and group-based writing assignments. Prerequisites: Econ 4011 and Econ 4021 or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: EN S; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC