Excellence redefined in the decade of materialism | …

When individuals and companies started to follow the trend of others, the goal became money, power, and material things; the things that had come to define excellence.

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Excellence Redefined :: essays research papers - …

Persons wanting to read creditable historical works on related topics should consider:
The DaVinci Code Decoded, Darrell Bock [From which much of the material in the first of this article was derived.]
Pocket History of the Church, Jeffrey Bingham
Our Legacy: The History of Christian Doctrine, John Hannah
A Survey of Bible Doctrine, Charles Ryrie

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The specific content of a new ideology is shaped, in the Marxist view, by two conditions: first, by the fact that new ideas reflect the particular historical experience of the rising ruling class, and second, by the fact that the new ruling class controls the means of ideological production. In explaining the rise of new political doctrines during the Enlightenment, for example, Marx and Engels state that the idea of a separation of powers reflects the bourgeoisie's actual experience of contending with the aristocracy and monarchy for power. They also liken the production of ideas to the production of goods, thereby making control over the means of cultural production a decisive factors. As they write, the class that has "the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that, thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it" ([1846] 1947, 39).

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Social Science Dictionary with a Durkheim bias

The decline of modern societies, together with the consequent decline of the particular stage of social thought we call sociology, leads us to a representation of social life as a flow of continuous changes. It means the triumph of modernization but at the same time the end of the idea of society. Large parts of what we call sociology, if this field of knowledge can be redefined as the study of social life instead of the study of society, corresponds to this purely dynamic view of social life. The modern theory of organizations, which is dominated by H. Simon's concept of limited rationality, is the most elaborate form of such neorationalism. According to this theory, actors do not behave according to their status in the system but according to their position in the process of change. In this approach, a word that has long been marginal in sociology all of a sudden takes on a central importance: that word is "strategy." Individual and collective actors do not act according to values and norms. Rather, like state, they act in strategic ways, trying to get the best possible results in a given process of change that is never completely controlled by a central authority. In a parallel way, Goffman or the ethnomethodologists represent social actors as states who use diplomacy and war in their dealings with other actors, and those other actors are more strangers than partners in a system of roles and role expectations. Social movements cannot appear in such a "Cold War" environment. Strategy does not require either affective mobilization or collective consciousness. It only requires the rational search for optimal solutions, and in particular the minimization of risks and uncertainty.

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It brings to life the reciprocal relationships between fashion and a range of primary source materials, including literary fiction, paintings, social commentaries, decorative ar...

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[33] This trend may shift large parts of the work forces of the advanced economies out of material production, but two qualifications needed to be suggested to Bell's characterization of this shift as a move to postindustrial society (1973, 1979). First, most of the jobs created for former industrial workers (or their children or their future counterparts) are at least as mundane and often at least as manual. What could be more exemplary manual labor than typing? Yet typing is "information-sector employment." Much the same goes for such service-sector jobs as making and selling hamburgers at McDonalds. Second, proportionate declines in employment in material production industries are not mirrored by proportionate declines in investment in capital goods or value added in economic production.