Social Mechanisms: An Analytical Approach to Social Theory
Peter Hedström, Richard Swedberg, Gudmund Hernes
Cambridge University Press, Jan 13, 1998 - Political Science - 340 pages
The advancement of social theory requires an analytical approach that systematically seeks to explicate the social mechanisms that generate and explain observed associations between events. These essays, written by prominent social scientists, advance criticisms of current trends in social theory and suggest alternative approaches. The mechanism approach calls attention to an intermediary level of analysis in between pure description and story-telling, on the one hand, and grand theorizing and universal social laws, on the other. For social theory to be of use for the working social scientist, it must attain a high level of precision and provide a toolbox from which middle range theories can be constructed.
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action actors Alexander alternative Amos Tversky analysis anisms approach argued argument assumed assumptions autocorrelation behavior beliefs black boxes Boudon Bourdieu 1990a Cambridge University Press capital causal chapter choice cognitive cognitive dissonance Coleman competition concept consequences contrast effect core corporate groups economic empirical endowment effect equilibrium example explanation explanatory expressive dissonance fact field firms function Giddens Habermas Hedstrom human idea imitation important individual innovation interaction Jon Elster less logic mathematical Mathematical Sociology mech Merton methodological individualism monopolistic competition monopoly moral dissonance nation-states normative observed opportunities organization outcomes phenomena Podolny political position predict produce rational-choice rationality Raymond Boudon reasons relevant reputation result Richard Swedberg S0rensen situation social mechanisms social processes social proof social sciences social structure Social Theory sociological theory sociologists sociology specific statistical status Stinchcombe strategy Swedberg theoretical theorists tion Tyler Cowen values variables women York