The Postindustrial Paradigm Shift: From Roles to Relationships

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(2), 197–198. Reviews the book, Post-Industrial Lives: Roles and Relationships in the 21st Century by Jerald Hage and Charles H. Powers (1992). The authors examine a process of role redefinition to explain the social transformation evident in both personal and work contexts; they predict that individuals, as a result of role conflict and strain, will increase the numbers and kinds of their roles. Furthermore, they describe a need for creativity and use of more “complex selves” to adapt to postindustrial society. The text addresses the question of how society itself is being affected by adding a meso level to the analysis–the creation of systemic networks. Concepts of complex role matrices and interorganizational networks are used to describe new modes of social integration, role networks are the postindustrial source of organizational coherence. This work is remarkably readable, punctuated as it is by examples that will be familiar to most readers. Key tables that summarize or illustrate concepts, comparisons, and models help make the material accessible to a broad readership. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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