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Voluntary Associations in History

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Abstract

Formal common interest associations appear to have become prominent during the neolithic, but to have declined subsequently in preindustrial nations. The industrial revolution supported a new proliferation. With this, the mode of operation changed: associations came to unite on the basis of rational-legal sanctions. Modern voluntary associations may contribute to social stability as adaptive mechanisms for traditional institutions. They may socialize and support individuals caught in the disorder of social change.

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