The third way and the development of society in market towns. Study on Ferenc Erdei's summary of urban sociology
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The study covers one of the key aspects of Erdei's social strata analysis, that is, the characteristics of the farm-like market towns in the Great Plains. Erdei saw the 'third way' as the only alternative for successful social development of peasantry stepping out from a closed world of community existence. The study points out that Erdei's interpretation is seen rather burdened with an ideological approach. Although the author was been known as the most outstanding scholar of market-town social development (and his work on Hungarian towns may well be considered a standard for town sociology), in certain cases Erdei's typical program action and its value orientation interwoven with his ideological approach also shape the aspects of his book, therefore his strata analysis becomes indefensible. The study also touches upon the fact that the precedents for the concept of the double structure can be observed in his earlier works already in the 1930's, although his ideas had not yet been characterized with his latter approach of double structure. In his approach, Erdei divided the examined society in two possible social strata, as the only preferable social development, and its all possible anti-poles.
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