Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems
Can we understand important social issues by studying individual personalities and decisions? Or are societies somehow more than the people in them? Sociologists have long believed that psychology can't explain what happens when people work together in complex modern societies. In contrast, most psychologists and economists believe that if we have an accurate theory of how individuals make choices and act on them, we can explain pretty much everything about social life. Social Emergence takes a new approach to these longstanding questions. Sawyer argues that societies are complex dynamical systems, and that the best way to resolve these debates is by developing the concept of emergence, focusing on multiple levels of analysis - individuals, interactions, and groups - and with a dynamic focus on how social group phenomena emerge from communication processes among individual members. This book makes a unique contribution not only to complex systems research but also to social theory.
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actors analytic Archer argued argument artificial societies autonomous behavior Bhaskar causal causal power chaos theory Chapter claim collaborative collective collectivist complex systems components concept of emergence contemporary developed downward causation dualism Durkheim dynamics economics emer Emergence Paradigm emergence processes emergent properties emergent social emergentism emergentist empirical entities example explain focus gence Giddens Giddens's higher-level properties holism individual action influence inseparability Interaction Paradigm internal irreducible level of analysis lower-level mechanisms mental methodological individualism methodologically individualist microsociology models multi-agent systems nonreductive individualism norms ontological Parsons philosophical philosophy of mind process ontology psychology rational choice theory reactive agent realism reducible reductionism reductionist reject relations Rogoff Sawyer second-wave simulation social causation social emergence social facts social phenomena social properties social sciences social structure social systems sociocultural socioculturalists sociological theory sociologists sociology stable emergents structuration theory Structure Paradigm supervenience systems theory theoretical theorists theory of emergence tion wild disjunction
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