Toward A Sociological Theory Of Information

Author: Harold Garfinkel
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317250265
Size: 40.55 MB
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In 1952 at Princeton University, Harold Garfinkel developed a sociological theory of information. Other prominent theories then being worked out at Princeton, including game theory, neglected the social elements of "information," modeling a rational individual whose success depends on completeness of both reason and information. In real life these conditions are not possible and these approaches therefore have always had limited and problematic practical application. Garfinkel's sociological theory treats information as a thoroughly organized social phenomenon in a way that addresses these shortcomings comprehensively. Although famous as a sociologist of everyday life, Garfinkel focuses in this new book-never before published-on the concerns of large-scale organization and decisionmaking. In the fifty years since Garfinkel wrote this treatise, there has been no systematic treatment of the problems and issues he raises. Nor has anyone proposed a theory of information like the one he proposed. Many of the same problems that troubled theorists of information and predictable order in 1952 are still problematic today.

Face To Face

Author: Jonathan H. Turner
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804744173
Size: 75.79 MB
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Updating classic sociological theory and utilizing the results of recent research in evolutionary and neurphysiological theory, this ambitious work aims to present no less than a unified, general theory of what happens when people interact.

A Sociological Theory Of Communication

Author: Loet Leydesdorff
Publisher: Universal-Publishers
ISBN: 1581126956
Size: 42.60 MB
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Networks of communication evolve in terms of reflexive exchanges. The codification of these reflections in language, that is, at the social level, can be considered as the operating system of society. Under sociologically specifiable conditions, the discursive reconstructions can be expected to make the systems under reflection increasingly knowledge-intensive. This sociological theory of communication is founded in a tradition that includes Giddens' (1979) structuration theory, Habermas' (1981) theory of communicative action, and Luhmann's (1984) proposal to consider social systems as self-organizing. The study also elaborates on Shannon's (1948) mathematical theory of communication for the formalization and operationalization of the non-linear dynamics. The development of scientific communications can be studied using citation analysis. The exchange media at the interfaces of knowledge production provide us with the evolutionary model of a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. The construction of the European Information Society can then be analyzed in terms of interacting networks of communication. The issues of sustainable development and the expectation of social change are discussed in relation to the possibility of a general theory of communication. REVIEW In this book, LoetLeydesdorff sets out to answer the question, "Can society be considered as a self-organizing (autopoietic) system. In the process, Leydesdorff, develops a general sociological theory of communication, as well as a special theory of scientific communication designed to analyze complex systems such as the Euroean Information Society. (from review in JASIST 53[1], 2002, 62-63)

Science Society And Values

Author: Sal P. Restivo
Publisher: Lehigh University Press
ISBN: 9780934223218
Size: 39.71 MB
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This book covers some of the major contributions Sal Restivo has made to the sociology of science over the past twenty years. His work has been guided by three agendas: to develop a sociological theory of science and scientific knowledge; to use the sociology of science as a vehicle for developing a sociology of objectivity; and to explore the relationships between science, objectivity, and human values. He has tried - in his career and, specifically, in this volume - to understand science without accepting the culture of science uncritically. In his introduction, Restivo provides a view of the sociology of science from his perspective as a working sociologist of science. He sketches the sociology of science landscape and provides some preliminary indications of why a critical sociology of science is needed. Then, showing the influence of classical social theorists such as Marx, Durkheim, and Nietzsche, and later theorists such as G. H. Mead and C. W. Mills, he writes on the scientific revolution (using a human ecology approach), science and progress, the science machine (i.e., industrialized science), the anthropology of science, science policy, and epistemology. His substantive concerns lead directly to his proposal in the concluding chapter for a sociology of objectivity. In chapter 2, Restivo argues for a conception of the scientific revolution as an organizational and institutional revolution. This is crucial for understanding the author's claim in chapters 3 and 4 that modern science is a social problem, and his later claims about scientific knowledge as a social construction. There, the author begins to unfold a defense of anarchy in society and inquiry. In chapter 5, Restivo shows how his early study of visiting foreign scientists in America raised the question of ideology in science for him. He concludes the chapter by underscoring the results of the so-called "laboratory studies," in particular the suspension of a host of conventional dichotomies such as social/technical, fact/ artifact, and internal/external. Chapter 6 then examines issues of science policy and scientific validity from a sociology and anthropology of science perspective. The concept of a critical sociology of science is linked to the program for developing what Marx called a "human science." The final chapter includes a section on the sociology of mathematics, an area Restivo has pioneered in.

Social Science Technical Systems And Cooperative Work

Author: Geoffrey Bowker
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317778758
Size: 28.84 MB
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This book is the first to directly address the question of how to bridge what has been termed the "great divide" between the approaches of systems developers and those of social scientists to computer supported cooperative work--a question that has been vigorously debated in the systems development literature. Traditionally, developers have been trained in formal methods and oriented to engineering and formal theoretical problems; many social scientists in the CSCW field come from humanistic traditions in which results are reported in a narrative mode. In spite of their differences in style, the two groups have been cooperating more and more in the last decade, as the "people problems" associated with computing become increasingly evident to everyone. The authors have been encouraged to examine, rigorously and in depth, the theoretical basis of CSCW. With contributions from field leaders in the United Kingdom, France, Scandinavia, Mexico, and the United States, this volume offers an exciting overview of the cutting edge of research and theory. It constitutes a solid foundation for the rapidly coalescing field of social informatics. Divided into three parts, this volume covers social theory, design theory, and the sociotechnical system with respect to CSCW. The first set of chapters looks at ways of rethinking basic social categories with the development of distributed collaborative computing technology--concepts of the group, technology, information, user, and text. The next section concentrates more on the lessons that can be learned at the design stage given that one wants to build a CSCW system incorporating these insights--what kind of work does one need to do and how is understanding of design affected? The final part looks at the integration of social and technical in the operation of working sociotechnical systems. Collectively the contributors make the argument that the social and technical are irremediably linked in practice and so the "great divide" not only should be a thing of the past, it should never have existed in the first place.

The Social Lens

Author: Kenneth Allan
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 1412978343
Size: 61.58 MB
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The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory, Second Edition is an upper division undergraduate social theory textbook that introduces the student to the major classical and contemporary theorists. The theorists were chosen for the diversity of their perspectives as well as their ability to introduce the student to contemporary theory. Dr. Allan uses a lively informative writing style to engage the students in the eras of social change that spawned the major sociological theories and then applies them to the current era, which also is experiencing major social change.

Toward A Sociological Theory Of Religion And Health

Author: Anthony Blasi
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004205977
Size: 21.79 MB
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This book seeks to involve recognized researchers in the social scientific study of health, medicine and religion, which has burgeoned across the past twenty years, toward more general theoretical development within the field, particularly with respect to the elderly and disadvantaged.

Rethinking Social Theory

Author: Roger Sibeon
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9780761950691
Size: 42.41 MB
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Identifies and explores unresolved controversies and ambiguities in present day sociological theorizing.

Contemporary Social And Sociological Theory

Author: Kenneth Allan
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 141299277X
Size: 18.27 MB
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In the Third Edition of Ken Allan's highly-praised Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory book, sociological theories and theorists are explored using a straightforward approach and conversational, jargon-free language. Filled with examples drawn from everyday life, this edition highlights diversity in contemporary society, exploring theories of race, gender, and sexuality that address some of today's most important social concerns. Through this textbook students will learn to think theoretically and apply to their own lives.

Trust

Author: Piotr Sztompka
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521598507
Size: 13.41 MB
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Piotr Sztompka here presents a major work of social theory, which gives a comprehensive theoretical account of trust as a fundamental component of human actions. Professor Sztompka's detailed and systematic study takes account of the rich evolving research on trust, and provides conceptual and typological clarifications and explications of the notion itself, its meaning, foundations and functions. He offers an explanatory model of the emergence (or decay) of trust-cultures, and relates the theoretical to the historical by examining the collapse of communism in 1989 and the emergence of a post-communist social order. Piotr Sztompka illustrates and supports his claims with statistical data and his own impressive empirical study of trust, carried out in Poland at the end of the nineties. Trust: A Sociological Theory is a conceptually creative and elegant work in which scholars and students of sociology, political science and social philosophy will find much of interest.