By David M. Freeman
E-book by means of Freeman, David M.
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Extra resources for Choice against choice: constructing a policy-assessing sociology for social development
Given that technological alternatives will differentially hurt and help people, promote and retard incompatible choices, or advance and extinguish components of the ecosystem, welfare is always transferred from group to group, time to time, and place to place. Policy assessment in the service of a vision of societal development focuses on the question: What is to be preferred and why? Which values serving which interests should guide collective choices from among technological and natural resource options?
A turn to free enterprise in pursuit of social development defined as growth in supersaturated material abundance, blind to the shape of society within which markets function, has already led to a ravaged environment, mountains of trash and streams of toxic wastes, neglect of human resources, and explosive increases in inequality between rich and poor. By the 1970s and 1980s, in most Western nations, economic growth was associated less and less with progress and increasingly with problems of dual societies, injustice, and environmental destruction.
Explorers include Robert A. Dahl, in his Dilemmas Of Pluralist Democracy (1982); Amitai Etzioni, in The Moral Dimension: Toward A New Economics (1988); Ralf Dahrendorf, in his Life Chances (1979) and The Modern Social Conflict (1988); John S. Dryzek, in Rational Ecology (1987); Barry Hindess, in his Choice, Rationality and Social Theory (1987); Elise Boulding, in her Building a Global Civic Culture (1988); Nancy L. Schwartz, in The Blue Guitar: Political Representation and Community (1988); William M.