Industrialisation in England

  • David Brown
  • Michael J. Harrison
Part of the Macmillan Business Management and Administration Series book series


The peculiar nature of industrial society was stressed in Chapter 2. The peculiarity lies in the prevalence of a belief system which makes human and material things objects of deliberate manipulation and control, and a system of production relying on inanimate sources of power and involving increased capital accumulation, a technical division of labour, a separation of enterprise from household and initiating centralisation of production in large units. Chapter 3 demonstrates how sociology emerged as an effort to explain the common features of the transformation to industrial society. In this chapter we will consider the emergence of the ‘market society’ which preceded industrialisation and examine the importance of the idea of ‘the market’ in subsequent theories of society. The special nature of British industrialisation developed because an already developed capitalist market structure existed prior to industrialisation and because the market society in Britain developed an ideology of laissez-faire which explained and justified market society in such a way that state intervention was minimised. Macpherson (1962, p. 58) is insistent that there is nothing incompatible between state intervention and the development of industrialisation, and that it is the use of Britain and the United States as examples which has led to a situation in which the ‘normal’ pattern of development involves abstention by the State from economic activities.


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Suggested Further Reading

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Copyright information

© David Brown and Michael J. Harrison 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Brown
  • Michael J. Harrison

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