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The culture of modernity Shows the contribution of religion to the rise of capitalism but also demonstrates that a rational methodical conduct of life and an ethics based on conviction while arising in the context of religion have become autonomous from it Weber contends that rationalization also results in the increasing independence of morality and law along with their basic decision rules from the context in which they are first formulated Weber also believes that rationalization processes in the modern world tend to destroy the possibility of an ethical life represented most dramatically by his depiction of modern society as an iron cage which destroys peoples sense of meaning Like Weber Parsons is very interested in the ramifications of rationalization for the modern social order Parsons is concerned with the sociological conditions for the emergence of universalism especially the universalistic criteria for understanding and evaluating the social world and their relationship to a democratic market-oriented liberal social order For parsons universalism is related to the differentiation processes characteristic of modernity As societies modernize different societal units become autonomous while simultaneously becoming more functionally interdependent Introduction The Revival of Post-Industrial Theory During the 1960s and early 1970s several prominent sociologists elaborated a view of contemporary society that they labeled the theory of post- industrial society The best-known proponent of this was the sociologist Daniel Bell The post- industrial idea has been intensively debated Its shortcomings as well as the stimulating questions it raises have been widely noted Malcolm Bradbury has called the 1970s the decade that never was We can now see that during that decade various new forms of postindustrial theory were in the making But they are as insistent as earlier post-industrial theorists that industrial societies have crossed a divide Classic industrialism the kind of society analyzed by Marx Weber and Durkheim the kind of society inhabited by most westerners for the past century and half is no more The new
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