Rural Society in the Age of Reason: An Archaeology of the Emergence of

May 10, 2010 by  
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Understanding the emergence of modern society is understanding how today’s social relationships came to be historically structured as they are. This work, focused on the Southern Scottish Highlands, is particularly concerned with the growth to predominance of the social relations of capitalism, where the central place of the individual, defined in isolation from wider society, relates to individualized notions of private property and land ownership, land rights and tenancy.brThis shift in importance of relationships was achieved through improvement, a process involving fundamental change in the ways people engaged with each other. Improvement emphasized the individualized relationships of capitalism over those of community or kin, and this was in large measure achieved through the restructuring of the material, physical environment.brThis essential reading will be of importance to archaeologists specializing in capitalism, and historical, as well as to archaeology and Scottish archaeologists and historians.From the reviews:pDalglish has given us such a rich and nuanced study. Rural Society in the Age of Reason is a welcome addition to the growing number of works whose goal is to build a global and historical understanding of the modern world. As such, this book has something for archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and historians alike. (Robert Paynter, Journal of Anthropological Research, 60: 2004)pThis is] the first British volume in the Contributions to Global Historical Archaeology. Overall this is an important and well argued study of changes well known and acknowledged at one level. Dalglish elegantly shows that much of interest and value can be discerned by examining the motivations and strategies of individuals, and that a society-wide or class-based reaction should not be assumed. This should encourage further regional studies to widen and deepen our understanding of the application of and reaction to Improvement not only in the Scottish Hi@Rj=p£× ¾Û€

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