Societies have risen and fallen throughout history. This theoretical study seeks to understand the process by which societies succeed and fail, how societies evolve over time, and what role an individual leader can play in this evolution. Societal evolution follows a pattern that this study refers to as Punctuated Equilibrium, a term borrowed from evolutionary biology. Societies remain unchanged for long periods of time, and then rapidly change through destructive means in a short timeframe. A synthesis of Max Weber's works on Charisma and Politics as a Vocation with Michel Foucault's work on Parrhesia provides the possibility that a society can adapt to new conditions without having to dismantle and reassemble itself. While modern societies have not achieved this ideal, there may be unique opportunities for institutional reform that past societies have not been afforded.
Sociology and Anthropology
Day, Edward Alter, "Max Weber Meets Michel Foucault, and Society Ensues: "Charisma" and "Parrhesia" in Societal Evolution, and Other Musings" (2013). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 1212.
Theory, Knowledge and Science
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2013 Edward Alter Day