A Sociological Theory Of Communication

Author: Loet Leydesdorff
Publisher: Universal-Publishers
ISBN: 1581126956
Size: 55.43 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)

Sociology And The New Systems Theory

Author: Kenneth D. Bailey
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780791417430
Size: 48.35 MB
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After providing a review of classical theory, this book carefully sketches the chief contributions of living systems theory, social entropy theory, autopoiesis, and other approaches. It shows that these approaches are without flaws of earlier functionalism, yet they retain the breadth and integrative potential needed by mainstream theorists concerned about the threat of hyperspecialization and fragmentation within sociology.

Toward A Sociological Theory Of Religion And Health

Author: Anthony Blasi
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004205977
Size: 64.61 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.

Social Science Technical Systems And Cooperative Work

Author: Geoffrey Bowker
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317778758
Size: 63.41 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

Advances In Social Theory And Methodology Rle Social Theory

Author: Karin Knorr Cetina
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652622
Size: 68.69 MB
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After a period in which sociology was torn apart by the polarized claims of micro- and macro-methodology, an increasing number of sociologists are now attempting a fusion of the two approaches. In this volume, some of the most distinguished sociologists set out possible resolutions of the debate. Each of the chapters, placed in perspective by the editors’ prologue, approaches the problem from a unique angle. Aaron Cicourel argues for a macro-basis of social interaction; Randall Collins shows how the macro consists of an aggregate of micro-episodes; Troy Duster presents a methodological model for generating a systematic data base across different contexts of social action through his examination of the procedures governing screening for inherited disorders. Rom Harré launches a philosophical attack on what he sees as a spurious bifurcation of micro- and macro-levels. Anthony Giddens explores the problem of unintended consequences, and Gilles Fauconnier, through a depiction of Jesuitical casuistry, shows how vital clues to macro-structure can be elicited from the micro-phenomenon of language. Victor Lidz continues the language theme in his chapter on the implications of advances in linguistic theory for macro-systems theory. Niklas Luhmann illustrates the micro-macro problem by the communication about law in interaction systems. The theory of historical materialism is reassessed by Jürgen Habermas. Taking the example of Renault and electric vehicles, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour investigate how micro-actor status is attained and the sociologist’s involvement in this transformation. Finally, Pierre Bourdieu, writing on men and machines, analyses the historical imperatives that create the complex relation between man and his environment.

The Viral Network

Author: Theresa MacPhail
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801454883
Size: 34.90 MB
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In The Viral Network, Theresa MacPhail examines our collective fascination with and fear of viruses through the lens of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. In April 2009, a novel strain of H1N1 influenza virus resulting from a combination of bird, swine, and human flu viruses emerged in Veracruz, Mexico. The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official end to the pandemic in August 2010. Experts agree that the global death toll reached 284,500. The public health response to the pandemic was complicated by the simultaneous economic crisis and by the public scrutiny of official response in an atmosphere of widespread connectivity. MacPhail follows the H1N1 influenza virus's trajectory through time and space in order to construct a three-dimensional picture of what happens when global public health comes down with a case of the flu. The Viral Network affords a rare look inside the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as Hong Kong’s virology labs and Centre for Health Protection, during a pandemic. MacPhail looks at the day-to-day practices of virologists and epidemiologists to ask questions about the production of scientific knowledge, the construction of expertise, disease narratives, and the different "cultures" of public health in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, and China. The chapters of the book move from the micro to the macro, from Hong Kong to Atlanta, from the lab to the WHO, from the pandemic past in 1918 to the future. The various historical, scientific, and cultural narratives about flu recounted in this book show how biological genes and cultural memes become interwoven in the stories we tell during a pandemic. Ultimately, MacPhail argues that the institution of global public health is as viral as the viruses it tracks, studies, and helps to contain or eradicate. The “global” is itself viral in nature.

Toward A General Theory Of Action

Author: Talcott Parsons
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 9781412840163
Size: 18.94 MB
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This new edition introduces the social science audiences of a new century to one of the classic highlights of the mid-twentieth century. This is the most general statement of the general theory of action as it was developed by its principle exponent, Talcott Parsons, and his close collaborators who formed the core of the fabled department of social relations at Harvard University. Toward a General Theory of Action is an extremely ambitious formulation of the ingredients, dimensions, and ranges that determine human behavior. Parsons and Shils enunciate principles that are at the core of contemporary social science preoccupations-including the precarious balance between social integration and conflict. The volume is at once universal in intent and highly personal, an expression of Parsons' thought, one of the most notable sociological theorists of the century. Finally, the book symbolizes the interdisciplinary impulse that typified a widespread belief in the unity of the sciences. This edition includes the collaborative group's introductory statement, Richard Sheldon's essay on the theoretical and philosophical status of the general theory of action, and "Values, Motives and Systems of Action" by Parsons and Shils. Guy Swanson, writing in the The American Sociological Review, noted that "Parsons and Shils have performed a major service in clearing away many old controversies, in showing the reasonableness of a behavioral foundation for general theory in social science as a whole and in sociology in particular, in clarifying the interrelations among many concepts, and in the insightful interpretation of particular pieces of data." It is testimony to this book's continuing significance that it continues to generate new lines of research and writings. Talcott Parsons and Edward A. Shils are now deceased. Parsons had a lifelong association with Harvard University, and Shils had an equally long distinguished service at Chicago University in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The special editor for the Transaction edition, Neil J. Smelser is director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford University. From 1958 through 1994 he served on the sociology faculty at the University of California at Berkeley. He is author of many books in the areas of social theory, social change, economic sociology, social movements and the sociology of education.

Contemporary Social And Sociological Theory

Author: Kenneth Allan
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 141299277X
Size: 60.10 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.

A Primer In Social And Sociological Theory

Author: Kenneth Allan
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1412960517
Size: 38.25 MB
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This book equips students with skills in critical thinking and theory built around nine central ideas of thought: modernity, society, self, religion, capitalism, power, gender, race, and globalization. Coverage of both classical and contemporary theorists are included, and the text is organized around the discourses of modernity, democracy, and citizenship. The end of chapter exercises build on one another and students are guided to higher order thinking and theorizing skills to formulate their own definitions, analyses, interpretations, evaluations, and syntheses of theory.