This book is a companion piece to Sheldon and Moore’s Indicators of Social Change. Whereas Indicators of Social Change was concerned with various kinds of “hard” data, typically sociostructural, this book is devoted chiefly to so-called “softer” data of a more social-psychological sort: the attitudes, expectations, aspirations, and values of the American population.
The book deals with the meaning of change from two points of view. First, it is interested in the human meaning which people attribute to the complex social environment in which they find themselves; their understanding of group relations, the political process, and the consumer economy in which they participate. Secondly, it discusses the impact that the various alternatives offered by the environment have on the nature of their lives and the fulfillment of those lives.
The twelve essays which make up the volume deal successively with the major domains of life. Each author sets forth an inclusive statement of the most significant dimensions of psychological change in a specific area of life, to review the state of present information, and to project the measurements needed to improve understanding of these changes in the future.