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“Tradition” and its adjective “traditional” are frequently used terms in sociological and anthropological descriptions to indicate cultural continuity with the past. More specifically, tradition refers to the process of handing down from one generation to the next and also to what is passed on: beliefs, practices, institutions, and also things. In this sense, the meaning of the term in social research is very close to its usage in common language and is not always theoretically well developed (see Shils, 1971: 123). But the concept of tradition has also been central to major theoretical debates on the nature of social change, especially in connection with the notion of modernity. Here tradition is linked to various forms of agency as a factor of both stability and intentional change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online : Blackwell Reference Online
EditorsGeorge Ritzer
Number of pages4
Place of publicationOxford
Publication year2016
ISBN (Electronic)9781405124331
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • tradition

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