ERIC Number: ED083489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973
Reference Count: N/A
Some Recurrent Disagreements about Social Change Which Affect Action Research Projects.
Hofstetter, Heather N.; Hofstetter, Merlin I.
This paper describes the beliefs and values of a pluralistic approach to social change and of four competing approaches: social Darwinism, functionalism, militancy, and conflict theory. Stressing the alienation and dogmatism of the competing approaches, the authors relate each approach to its operation in community action projects. Social Darwinists favor intergroup conflict to keep the ingroup pure, and ostracize those who do not adhere to values of competition and self-denial. Functionalists see a stratified society whose subsystems inter-relate to produce equilibrium. Militants, showing an intense distrust of establishment officials, demand first-hand experience of the poor peoples' situation. Conflict theory states that people in power use that power in their own interests but to the disadvantage of the powerless. The pluralistic approach tries to avoid these unrealistic and romantic aspects by introducing flexibility into rule systems and by using feedback to revise rules. The paper concludes with specific recommendations for community action workers. (Author/LAA)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A