The tenacious past: Theories of personal and collective conservatism


Journal Article

A number of theories have been developed to explain why societies do not always adapt to changing conditions. These are critiqued here, with an emphasis on their substantive and methodological differences. Some theories ascribe lack of adaptation to personal conservatism, attachment to the past by the individual members of society. Others invoke collective conservatism, the attachment of society as a whole to collective past choices. Methodologically, the theories differ in the extent to which they resort to optimistic functionalism. A limitation common to most is that they overlook the feedback from actual choices to individuals' beliefs and preferences. © 1988.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kuran, T

Published Date

  • January 1, 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 143 - 171

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-2681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0167-2681(88)90043-1

Citation Source

  • Scopus