chapter  10
Regions, Families, Religion: Continuity and Change in Social Contexts of Entrepreneurship Between 1800 and 2000
Pages 12

Over the past 200 years, Western countries have been through a series of radical economic and social transformations. They have undergone a structural transformation from a preindustrial to an industrial (and partly, postindustrial) economy; they have experienced several ‘ups and downs’ in terms of globalization; and they have suffered a number of violent fl uctuations in business cycles, the latest of which was more vehement than anything witnessed in the last 80 years. Meanwhile, they have also seen various upturns and downturns in inequality, a drastic decline in birth and mortality rates, a signifi cant rise in life expectancy, an unprecedented increase in living standards, the growth of individualism, and in Europe at least, a steady advance of secularization. Western societies have certainly changed more signifi cantly since 1800 than previously.