Foundations of Social Theory
Combining principles of individual rational choice with a sociological conception of collective action, James Coleman recasts social theory in a bold new way. The result is a landmark in sociological theory, capable of describing both stability and change in social systems.
This book provides for the first time a sound theoretical foundation for linking the behavior of individuals to organizational behavior and then to society as a whole. The power of the theory is especially apparent when Coleman analyzes corporate actors, such as large corporations and trade unions. He examines the creation of these institutions, collective decision making, and the processes through which authority is revoked in revolts and revolutions.
Coleman discusses the problems of holding institutions responsible for their actions as well as their incompatibility with the family. He also provides a simple mathematical analysis corresponding to and carrying further the verbal formulations of the theory. Finally, he generates research techniques that will permit quantitative testing of the theory.
From a simple, unified conceptual structure Coleman derives, through elegant chains of reasoning, an encompassing theory of society. It promises to be the most important contribution to social theory since the publication of Talcott Parsons' Structure of Social Action in 1936.
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Actors and Resources Interest and Control
Rights to Act
Systems of Social Exchange
From Authority Relations to Authority Systems
Systems of Trust and Their Dynamic Properties
The Demand for Effective Norms
Responsibility of Corporate Actors
New Generations in the New Social Structure
The Relation of Sociology to Social Action in the
The New Social Structure and the New Social Science
The Linear System of Action
Extensions of the Theory
Trust in a Linear System of Action
The Realization of Effective Norms
Constitutions and the Construction of Corporate Actors
The Problem of Social Choice
From Individual Choice to Social Choice
The Corporate Actor as a System of Action
Rights and Corporate Actors
Natural Persons and the New Corporate Actors
Power the MicrotoMacro Transition and Interpersonal
Externalities and Norms in a Linear System of Action
Indivisible Events Corporate Actors and Collective
Dynamics of the Linear System of Action
Unstable and Transient Systems of Action
The Internal Structure of Actors