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Daniel Bell

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Daniel Bell
Daniel Bell (born 10 May 1919) is a sociologist and professor emeritus at Harvard University. He is a scholar in residence of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the past, Bell taught sociology at Columbia University. He is also known for his contributions as an editor to The Public Interest Magazine, Fortune and The New Leader.

He is best known for his contributions to post-industrialism. His most influential books are The End of Ideology (1960), The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1976) and The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973). The End of Ideology has been influential in what was called endism. This is the idea that both history and ideology have been reduced to insignificance because Western democratic politics and capitalism have triumphed. At the time, Bell was attacked by politically left-wing critics. They claimed that Bell has lost touch with reality. They particularly pointed to the so-called Third World and argued that endism was just another guise for the status quo.

In The Coming of Post-Industrial Society Bell outlined a new kind of society. He argued that post-industrialism would be information-led and service-oriented. Bell also argued that the post-industrial society would replace the industrial society as the dominant system. There are three components to a post-industrial society, according to Bell:

  • a shift from manufacturing to services
  • the centrality of the new science-based industries
  • the rise of new technical elites and the advent of a new principle of stratification

Since the publication of his book, many of the predictions have turned true. He rightly predicted mass consumption, but failed to foresee the social cost, such as loss of job security or mass unemployment. His work is nevertheless highly regarded.

See also: post-industrialism, ideology, modernismde:Daniel Bell (Soziologie) he:דניאל בל pl:Daniel Bell sk:Daniel Bell

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