I’m in the midst of Francis Fukuyama’s “The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution” in which he outlines the growth of political institutions. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00457X7VI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00457X7VI&linkCode=as2&tag=boffosocko-20&linkId=6QNO26EJCALWWAKM
He actually covers some of the psychology and thought behind why societies hold on to long-held beliefs, ideas, stereotypes, and even falsehoods as a mechanism to protect themselves.