Background[ edit ] Secularization is sometimes credited both to the cultural shifts in society following the emergence of rationality and the development of science as a substitute for superstition — Max Weber called this process the "disenchantment of the world"—and to the changes made by religious institutions to compensate. At the most basic stages, this begins with a slow transition from oral traditions to a writing culture that diffuses knowledge. This first reduces the authority of clerics as the custodians of revealed knowledge. As the responsibility for education has moved from the family and community to the statetwo consequences have arisen:
It has focused on human behavior as determined by social structures and physical environmental factors, rather than genetic and personal characteristics.
Biologists and anthropologists have accepted the theory of evolution as demonstrating that animals adapt to their environments. As applied to humans who are considered responsible for their own destinies, the School believed that the natural environment which the community inhabits is a major factor in shaping human behavior, and that the city functions as a microcosm: Clements was particularly influential.
He proposed that a community of vegetation is a superorganism and that communities develop in a fixed pattern of successional stages from inception through to some single climax state or to a self-regulating state of equilibrium.
By analogy, an individual is born, grows, matures, and dies, but the community which the individual inhabited continues to grow and exhibit properties which are greater than the sum of the properties of the parts. Members of the School have concentrated on the city of Chicago as the object of their study, seeking evidence whether urbanization Wirth: Originally, Chicago was a clean slate, an empty physical environment.
ByChicago was a small town with a population of 10, There was great growth after the fire of Bythe population exceeded two million. The rapidity of the increase was due to an influx of immigrants and it produced homelessness Anderson: But equally, Thomas and Znaniecki stress that the sudden freedom of immigrants released from the controls of Europe to the unrestrained competition of the new city was a dynamic for growth.
See also the broken windows thesis. A visual comparison of the maps could identify the concentration of certain types of behavior in some areas.
Correlations of rates by areas were not made until later. Burgess studied the history of development and concluded that the city had not grown at the edges. Although the presence of Lake Michigan prevented the complete encirclement, he postulated that all major cities would be formed by radial expansion from the center in concentric rings which he described as zones, i.
Shaw and McKay created maps: Thomas also developed techniques of self-reporting life histories to provide subjective balance to the analysis. Park, Burgess, and McKenzie are credited with institutionalizing, if not establishing, sociology as a science.
They are also criticized for their overly empiricist and idealised approach to the study of society but, in the inter-war years, their attitudes and prejudices were normative. Three broad themes characterized this dynamic period of Chicago studies: This arises from Thomas and Znaniecki and studies how ethnic groups interact and compete in a process of community succession and institutional transformation Hughes and Hughes: An important part of this work concerned African Americans; works including E.
Franklin Frazier and Drake and Cayton shaped white America's perception of black communities for decades. Cressey studied the dance hall and commercialized entertainment services, Kincheloe studied church succession, Janowitz studied the community press, and Hughes studied the real-estate board.
Merriam's commitment to practical reform politics was matched by Gosnell who researched voting and other forms of participation. GosnellWilsonGrimshaw considered African American politics, and Banfield and Wilson placed Chicago city politics in a broader context.
The School is perhaps best known for the Subculture Theories of Thrasher, Frazier, and Sutherland, and for applying the principles of ecology to develop the Social Disorganization Theory which refers to consequences of the failure of: Thomas defined social disorganization as "the inability of a neighborhood to solve its problems together" which suggested a level of social pathology and personal disorganization, so the term, "differential social organization" was preferred by many, and may have been the source of Sutherland's Differential Association Theory.
The researchers have provided a clear analysis that the city is a place where life is superficial, where people are anonymous, where relationships are transitory and friendship and family bonds are weak. They have observed the weakening of primary social relationships and relate this to a process of social disorganization comparison with the concept of anomie and the Strain Theories is instructive.
Ecology and social theories Vasishth and Sloane argue that while it is tempting to draw analogies between organisms in nature and the human condition, the problem lies in reductionismi. The most fundamental difficulties are definitional.
If a community is a group of individuals who inhabit the same place, is the community merely the sum of individuals and their activities, or is it something more than an aggregation of individuals? This is critical in planning research into group interactions.
Will research be effective if it focuses on the individuals comprising a group, or is the community itself a proper subject of research independently of the individuals who comprise it?
If the former, then data on individuals will explain the community, but if the community either directly or indirectly affects the behavior of its members, then research must consider the patterns and processes of community as distinct from patterns and processes in populations of individuals.
But this requires a definition and distinction between "pattern" and "process". The structures, forms, and patterns are relatively easy to observe and measure, but they are nothing more than evidence of underlying processes and functions which are the real constitutive forces in nature and society.
The Chicago School wanted to develop tools by which to research and then change society by directing urban planning and social intervention agencies.Secularization (or secularisation) is the transformation of a society from close identification and affiliation with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions.
The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion . Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.
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