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u.s. Technological,Economic,and SociaDevelopme for the21st Century

243

discussionof the remainingelementscan be found in An ImmodesAgenda (Etzioni, 1983).

I. A FUNCTIONAL-STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

MODEL OF

The list of elements is, in fact, a list of functional needs,a conceptual model that one main school of sociology has evolved. The model suggeststhat to survive, any specific societal system must attend to a specific setof needs. In the context at hand, this leads to the hypothesis that if a fairly high level of economic devel- opment and growth is to be sustained there are seven needs that must be "an- swered" adequately and in some rough coordination with eachother. If one or more are neglected, development will be strained, and the natureof the strain can

be "derived"

from the neglected needs. If

rated, economic

development

may cease

severalelements are week if not go into reverse.

or

deterio-

This line of analysis, however, does not imply that historical changeis incom- patible with maintaining the system, just becausethe same needsrequire atten- tion. While high development requires the service of all sevenelements, substi-

tution of items that are functionally equivalent-which

serve the same need,

albeit

in

different

ways-is

quite

possible,

indeed,

historically

common.

A functional model of a car provides an analogue. A car cannot be said to "need" wheels, gasoline, and water. It needs a way to reduce friction with the ground; wheels or air jets may serve. It needs a propellant; gasoline diesel oil, alcohol, or some other fuel may serve. And it needsa cooling mechanism; water or air may serve.

In the societal system, transportation illustrates this point. The functional need is to integrate local markets into a society-wide market, and to reduce the cost and time of transit. However, waterways, railroads, and highways can all satisfy this need; indeed, historically, the United States first relied heavily on canals, later on rails, and still later on a highway system. (In contrast, airlines never played a significant role in transportation of goods and raw materials.) The need, thus, is not for canals or rails or highways, or a specific mix of these items, but for a nationwide, expeditious transportation, a need to which the historical re- sponsehas varied over time. Is this to say that it makes no difference which item answersthe transportation need?The obvious answeris no; it doesmake a differ- ence. The more efficient an item (in cost per unit of output), the more effective the system, all other things being equal.

A. Stagesof Developmentand Reversal

Our hypothesisis this: (a) The sevenneedsof economicdevelopmenwere well attendedto during the first industrializationof the U.S., roughly from the

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