Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on November 2, 2016

Elliott, the author and sociology professor, confessed in the beginning that this book represents his argument supporting a contemporary social theory.  He proposed social theory was “a resourceful, high-powered and interdisciplinary project of the social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, and an urgent critique of ideological thought and the discourses of reason, freedom, truth, subjectivity, culture and politics, on the other hand” (11).  In the book, he covered the structuralism, modernity, postmodernism, globalization, feminism, and more.  Elliott (97) , under “the limits of structuralism, express Foucault’s views on Sexuality, writes each person has the duty to know who he is…know what’s happening inside of himself, acknowledge faults, recognize temptation, to locate desires.” He describes “modernity as the answer to when there is a contrast with tradition” (20).  Whereas postmodernism is viewed as “schizoid desire, simulated media culture, global capitalist transformation, and liquid sociality”(257) , which has brought forth change – feminism, gay rights, etc.

His research directed him to five social theory themes. They are:

  • The “relation between society and social structure”(11 ),
  • Hold of values or norms which agree dominant in society (13),
  • Social change in everyday life – globalization, technology, etc. (14),
  • Gender issues – feminism, sexuality, etc. (14), and
  • Relation between social and emotional, public and private worlds (15)

To support his point, Elliott included the writings on social theory by authors: Anthony Giddins, Zygmunt Bauman, Jurgen Habermas.  An article entitled, “Five Contemporary Theorist of Modernity,” shared by Supriya Guru, as well discussed the views of authors: Anthony Giddins, Zygmunt Bauman, and Jurgen Habermas on industrialism rather than socialism. The article addresses the social theory stating, “there are a good number of sociologists working to develop this viable theory that modernity goes beyond Industrialization.”[1]  Both the book and the article reference McDonalization, and its impact on industrialism and social society. The article stated that “Modernity, according to Ritzer, is rationality. It is the prime characteristic of contemporary society. McDonaldization is an example of hyper-rationality. Credit card and fast food are also examples of hyper-rationality. …”[2]  Elliott (24), states that McDonaldization is globalization, the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society.”  McDonald’s has changed the way society accept fast food through their handling of “efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control” (36).  2016-09-24 16.43.51I must admit that my young grandson and I are avid supporters of McDonalds. I sent him a picture of McDonalds in London.

In addressing how the industries affect traditions, he states, “Postmodernism was the answer to an unstoppable universal consumerism” (253).  It “consists in profound social transformations associated with the transcendence of the modern” (286).  He “labeled it as schizoid desire, simulated media culture, global capitalist transformation, and liquid sociality” (253).

History documents society’s transition from years of oppression of minorities having little to no rights to having civil rights, women having gender equality, and sexual orientation receiving acknowledgment. In, addition, there are animal rights and immigration rights.

Our social and industrial culture transforms quickly in the technology area. The cell phones and computers jetson watchare forever evolving. Society demanding my GB, faster Ram memory, games, emails, and globalization. The industry is trying to maintain quality, sustain the desires of social needs and predict the universal consumerism needs. Society has moved from making a meal at home to microwave and fast foods. We have transformed computers as a written jetson videocommunication to included visual communication. Have you realized we are in the Jetson’s culture? The Jetson animated cartoon has a major impacted our technology. Their lives included, rocket backpack, moving stairs, microwave, video watch, virtual communication, elevators, and robots cleaning homes.

Christianity has experienced transitions from tradition to radical, scandalous worship. Traditional church buildings with the church bells, hanging Jesus, baptism pools, and alter tables, no longer but large auditoriums with some resembling sports arenas with no reference to Christian artifacts. Traditional worship service songs: hymns, spirituals, and gospel by choirs transitioned to contemporary, praise and worship by praise teams. Ministers were wearing robes to preach transitioned to wearing jeans. Many traditional Christians challenged the new ways of worship having no scriptural base as in the earlier years when the organ, guitars, and drums were introduced to the church.

Postmodernism seems to be radical when first introduced, but as quickly as our society advances to meet the universal consumerism, it is then viewed as modernism.


[1] Supriya Guru, “5 Contemporary Theorist of Modernity.” Your Article Library. Accessed November 2, 2016.  http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sociology/5-contemporary-theorists-of-modernity-who-are-defining-modernity-clearly/39835/

[2] Ibid.


About the Author

Lynda Gittens


  1. Great line Lynda and so true: “Christianity has experienced transitions from tradition to radical, scandalous worship.” It’s amazing how things don’t seem radical when new concepts are introduced into society.

  2. Mary Walker says:

    “Have you realized we are in the Jetson’s culture?” Wow, Lynda, you are so right. Worse yet, we are in the Star Trek Culture. Most of you young whipper-snappers weren’t hardly born in the 60’s, but I remember when Captain Kirk talked to a computer screen. THAT WAS SCIENCE FICTION!!!
    Things have really changed. How many people know that some of the tunes to the Fanny Crosby hymns we sing were bar tunes in the nineteenth century? If the music was popular and people praised the Lord then how can we pick on our teens if they want drums and guitars? I guess we should focus on the main message – Jesus is Lord. But like we’ve talked about so much before, be flexible in the non-essentials.
    So, you are right. Christianity has adapted and will to social changes, but the message is always the same.

  3. Stu Cocanougher says:

    I must admit, “McDonaldization” is my favorite word from the book. Gone are the days that repairable goods are created. Most everything we purchase is disposable. Recently I rented two cars that had touch screens in them that controlled most of the cars featured. I asked myself, with so much technology built in to this car, will it even work in 10 years. The answer is obvious, cars today are not expected to last 10 years. I drive a 1973 Volkswagen. In its life, it has had several engines, a few transitions, and a lot of replaced lights, knobs, etc. It is reasonable that it will be running 20 years from now. This concept is alien to millennials.

  4. Lynda great post. Moderation has welcomed the Digital Age. My cell phone went from being a simple device that I could make a local phone call to being a mini computer that I can connect within seconds with anyone in the world. This has all taken place in the last 15 to 20 years. Who knows that the next 3 to 5 years will bring. There are literally clothes I can buy that will track my heart rate and other bio data. We have gone from analog watches to smart watches. While I do enjoy these new developments, I will say in certain areas of my life I still resort back to the “older” or more traditional ways of doing things. I find that in doing so , my life is more balanced and I am not so dependent on the latest greatest trend to meet all of my life needs.

  5. I remember when the Jetson came on TV. I couldn’t wait to be like them.
    Mary I remember Star Trek, and the Robinsons. Those were fantasies. They all had one thing in common. Flying vehicles.
    Crystal, I don’t want to go back to the pager days. I remember exiting off the freeways looking for phone booths. I do agree that I do depend on this new technology too much. I don’t remember anyone’s phone number anymore.

  6. Jim Sabella says:

    Great post Lynda! You’ve described changes in the church that we have lived through. Some of the changes are good, some not so good and some just plain bad! I remember reading a book about 12 years ago titled, “The Church on the Other Side.” The author Brian McLaren and others gave an uncannily accurate view of what the church would be like in the new world. There’s no question that our changing world has an impact on the church. Great post!

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