Dean Lusher, Peng Wang, Julia Brennecke, Julien Brailly, Malick Faye, and Colin Gallagher
This chapter presents recent developments in exponential random graph models (ERGMs), statistical models for social network structure. ERGMs assume that social networks are composed of various network substructures (or network configurations) like reciprocity, brokerage, or transitive closure, which, combined together, explain how the network came into being. The chapter also discusses recent developments for related models—auto-logistic actor attributes models (ALAAMs)—that examine social influence effects. The chapter focuses on three new types of models that have developed in the past few years: directed network models for social influence, multilevel extensions of ERGMs, and multilevel extensions of ALAAMs. The chapter concludes with three empirical applications to demonstrate what new possibilities exist in the application of these new statistical models for social networks to social science questions.
Critical theorists, especially feminists, have long been concerned with the affective dimension of our lives and have highlighted its centrality to political analyses. More recently, there has been a renewed interest in affect and emotion, often referred to as an “affective turn,” which has seen contemporary theorists across the disciplines focusing on affect in political, as well as ontological, settings. In light of such recent, renewed interest in affect and emotion, this chapter examines what resources, if any, Jane Addams’s work offers theorists for the present context. The chapter also positions Addams in relation to Dewey’s and James’s theories of emotion and identifies two prominent themes or roles for emotion in Addams’s thought: emotion as the basis of an ethical standard, and emotion as the basis of “perplexity.”
Social science is vested in the potential technology carries for expression and connection. Human beings utilize media, social media, and communication technologies for expression and connection. The author has been studying the social and political consequences of communication technologies, with an interest in the soft structures of feeling that these technologies filter, conduit, and enable. This interest has led to the development of the construct of “affective publics” and its companion term, “affective news.” Affective publics are networked publics that come together, are identified, and disband through shared sentiment. These concepts have been adopted in a multitude of studies that examine the relationship between technology and politics. This chapter explicates the concept, traces its theoretical roots, and describes how it might further an understanding of civic engagement.
André Grow and Andreas Flache
Social scientists increasingly construe social life as a complex dynamic process, in which macro-level properties of social systems can emerge from individuals’ actions and interactions in unexpected, unintended, and possibly undesirable ways. Reputation and status differentiation are important examples. This chapter discusses how agent-based computational modeling (ABCM) can be used to better understand the social processes by which the behavioral dynamics that underlie reputation formation can generate social inequality and contribute to status differentiation. The chapter begins by elaborating the foundations of ABCM and subsequently discusses a number of ABCM examples that address the emergence of reputation and status differentiation from simple but fundamental rules of social behavior and interaction. To further illustrate the method, the chapter presents a formal model that explains the emergence of status differentiation from reputation formation. It closes with a discussion of important future directions in this area, in particular the role that gossip might play in future ABCM work on reputation and status.
After some 10 years in power and more than two years in control of several municipalities, the previously banned Tunisian Islamist party al-Nahda has had a unique trajectory as a Sunni Islamic political movement in the wake of the Arab uprisings. This chapter examines that trajectory from a local perspective, focusing on two popular districts of Greater Tunis, al-Tadamun and Douar Hisher, historic strongholds of al-Nahda. The aim is to understand the mutations through which this central actor has passed in Tunisia, examining the evolution of its social action and its repertoire of political legitimization. The chapter outlines the tensions marking its institutionalization in terms of generational dislocation and the alienation of its popular base. In doing so, it traces the recomposition of local power and its underlying arrangements in relegated urban margins 10 years after the fall of Ben Ali’s authoritarian regime.
This chapter offers a perspective on what makes Indigenous sociology distinctive, and why it is important. It is less concerned with “speaking back” or “up” to the sociological discipline and canon than with situating Indigenous sociology on its own terms. These terms are inherently relational. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the concept that best embodies relationality is whakapapa. Often used as a synonym for genealogy (a noun), whakapapa is also a verb that means to place in layers. The chapter explores the multiple meanings of whakapapa—and its relevance for relational sociology—in the context of a genealogical project with a hapū (subtribe) that I descend from. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of Indigenous sociology for Western sociology, in particular what it portends for transformation and decolonization.
Andrew J. Jolivétte
Gender diversity in Native American and Indigenous communities is deeply embedded in a long genealogical history of culturally rooted ontologies that inform contemporary sociological understanding of geographies of gender. This chapter defines geographies of gender as those sites of convergence where Indigenous place-making intersects with settler scripts to resist, remake, and restore tribal and urban Indian-specific notions of gender thrivance. Geographies of gender are therefore a methodological intervening in settler constructions of gender and sexuality. This chapter applies this concept within the United States, with a specific focus on the San Francisco Bay Area and Southwest Louisiana. It challenges the Eurocentric binary construction of gender through an examination of Two-Spirit history as well as by documenting the often underrepresented leadership contributions of American Indian women who engage culturally specific practices to advance Native American and other Indigenous communities. The lives of five women leaders demonstrate how geographies of gender are not only land- and place-based, but also embedded within a cultural system that is specific to Indigenous worldviews and practices.
This article examines the unique contribution that analytic ethnography has made and can make to accomplishing two of the key principles of analytical sociology: developing theoretical explanations by identifying mechanisms that connect actors, action, and outcomes; bridging the micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis in those explanations. It first distinguishes ‘analytic ethnography’ from other varieties of ethnography before showing how analytic ethnography has historically developed mechanism-based explanations that go beyond the micro level. It then compares analytic ethnography to analytical sociology in order to highlight the compatibility of the two. Finally, it demonstrates how theoretical integration can be achieved first within analytic ethnography, then between analytic ethnography and analytical sociology, using research on signaling and explanations of outcomes in which signals are the mechanism.
Peter Hedström and Lars Udehn
This article locates analytic sociology in the Mertonian tradition of middle-range theory, which focuses on partial explanation of phenomena observed in different social domains through identification of core causal mechanisms. Robert K. Merton was one of the most important figures in twentieth-century sociology. He wrote on a wide range of topics, including bureaucracy, deviance, mass communications, professions, social stratification, and the sociology of science, paying attention to the consolidation and codification of existing sociological theories. His theoretical agenda has much in common with that of contemporary analytical sociology. This article begins with an overview of Merton’s middle-range theory, followed by a discussion of the micro-macro relationship. It then considers Merton’s arguments regarding social dynamics, along with his theories of self-fulfilling prophecies and the Matthew effect. It also explains different kinds of middle-range theories and concludes by stressing the importance of developing theories with sufficient causal depth.
Marx’s historical materialism is a powerful antidote to culturalist essentialism of the kind that became known as Orientalism after Edward Said. The Marxian perspective allows for a full consideration of the role of Western imperialism in hindering the development of the Middle East as well as in the deliberate preservation of archaic sociopolitical features in the region. The concept of Bonapartism that Marx developed in his writings on the French Second Empire is highly relevant to the analysis of the national-developmental experiences that emerged in the Middle East in the twentieth century. His insight on the reactionary aspiration of sections of the petite bourgeoisie confronted with capitalist transformation provides an important clue to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. Marx’s theory of revolution as resulting from the blockage of economic development finds a most striking illustration in what is commonly designated as the Arab Spring.
Carmelo Lombardo and Lorenzo Sabetta
Unexceptional by definition, the natural appearance of everyday life is not a matter of conscious awareness, let alone deliberate calculation, but an uneventful background against which, ordinarily, nothing special seems to happen. This feeling that nothing is going on, however, may be intentionally elicited (i.e., preserved) and used for instrumental purposes, through strategic actions that dissemble themselves to better affect their target. In this view, this chapter elaborates the concept of concealed strategic actions (CSA), actions that are not experienced as such by the observer and are designed to be so. Somewhat oversuspicious, this idea can be traced back to the work of Goffman on fabrications, normal appearances, and the difference between expressed versus transmitted information. CSA’s current relevance, more practically speaking, is shown by the extensive use in policy making of default options, which are interpreted here as a consequential form of interventions that do not feel as interventions at all. Though CSAs can backfire and are, indeed, inherently obsolescent, their ambition to deploy a reactance-proof strategy seems intriguing from an interactionist perspective, highlighting the nexus among intentions, actions, and reactions—something to eagerly inspect for an expansive symbolic interactionism.
Through a revisit of the evolution of Marx’s ideas about Oriental society and the village community, this chapter explores the methodological meaning of Asia for the Marxist conception of history and demonstrates its contemporary relevance. Following Marx’s original cases of India, China, and Russia, the chapter traces how eventually in his analysis national liberation and class struggle became mutually indispensable and why the oldest forms of social organization could be transformed into the newest as the communist project. This textual study of a remarkable intellectual trajectory begins with a critical examination of Marx’s Asiatic mode of production and then looks into the major twists and leaps in his later reflections, and concludes with a tentative appraisal of the significance of his eastward turn. Marx’s non-deterministic history with a strong agential as well as ecological consciousness is shown to be an indispensable source for contemporary Marxist rethinking of historical and global transformations.
James M. Dorsey
The battle for the soul of Islam is about much more than countering political violence and suppressing political Islam. It is a long-drawn-out, decades-long battle for religious soft power in which multiple Middle Eastern and Asian states compete for recognition as leader of the Muslim world and to be drivers of a largely undefined “moderate,” tolerant, and pluralistic interpretation of an Islam that at a minimum engages in interfaith dialogue. The rivals employ religion to garner favor, empathy, and goodwill in the corridors of power in the United States and Europe, as well as among influential Jewish and Christian communities. At the same time, the battle for the soul of Islam is also a struggle to redefine what Islam represents in a 21st-century world.
This article examines the multiple mechanisms by which beliefs are formed — from observation, social influence/socialization, induction, deduction from other beliefs, adaptation to desire (wishful thinking), and dissonance-reduction mechanisms — as well as the conditions under which each arises and the characteristic processes (and problems) associated with each. The discussion is generally set in a socio-cognitive framework, which is based on the assumption that individuals are motivated by an ‘effort after meaning’. The article first considers the role of categorization in belief formation before turning to inductive reasoning and analogism. It then describes the conditions under which people’s beliefs are particularly likely to be influenced by others, followed by an analysis of the mechanism of dissonance reduction. It suggests that while beliefs are slippery and difficult to nail down, they need to be taken into account in any explanation of action.
Donna Cormack and Paula King
Colonization fundamentally disrupted Indigenous knowledge systems, establishing epistemic hierarchies that privilege Eurocentric colonial epistemologies and methodologies. In this chapter, the authors explore how epistemic hierarchies are (re)produced in the current context of “big data” and datafication, in particular for mokopuna Māori in the nation-state known as New Zealand (NZ). (We use the concept of “mokopuna Māori” to refer to and position Māori babies, children, and young people within the Māori world as the sacred reflection of our ancestors and a blueprint for future generations.) The chapter then considers the possibilities for Indigenous epistemic justice in the “zone of nonbeing” or beyond the “abyssal line.”
Stefania Milan and Emiliano Treré
Datafication—through which many aspects of social life are transformed into data—is usually equated with a more efficient use of resources and improved state–citizen relations. But it can have negative consequences on those at the margins of society, such as refugees, racialized individuals, gig workers, and citizens of countries with scant respect for human rights. How can we understand the ways in which the disempowered are impacted by and resist datafication? This essay presents an analytical matrix to study data at the margins. The matrix identifies three components of data at the margins: (1) infrastructure, emphasizing the material dimension; (2) practices, pinpointing agency in people’s encounters with datafication; and (3) imaginaries, that is, the cultural and symbolic facets of data at the margins. The matrix offers also three lenses of interpretation through which to observe the components: (1) decoloniality and race, (2) intersectionality and feminism, and (3) the “pluriverse.” Together, they help in questioning datafication and why certain social groups are oppressed while uncovering pathways toward justice and equality.
Tim Hallett and Matthew Gougherty
This chapter examines the relationship between Bourdieu’s sociology and organizational research, some of the ways he has been influential, how his ideas have been used, and new opportunities to push his research. In helping to spark the cultural turn in sociology, Bourdieu indirectly influenced the new institutionalist approach within organizational sociology. Although organizations were rarely the primary focus of his own work, we argue that there are traces of an organizational sociology in some of his canonical books. Much like his other work, this implicit approach is centered on the field-capital-habitus triumvirate. However, organizational scholars influenced by Bourdieu tend to focus on and modify the concepts of field and capital. Given recent calls to apply Bourdieu’s full conceptual framework to the study of organizations, we examine the promise and the potential pitfalls of incorporating Bourdieu’s concepts into the scholarship on the micro-foundations of institutions, especially as it relates to social interaction.
Chapter abstract This chapter considers the relationship between the sociologies of Pierre Bourdieu and Alfred Schutz. It begins by making plain the shared rootedness of many of their ideas in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and tracing the different directions in which they took that influence, given the dissimilar states of the intellectual fields they were positioned in. It then goes on to compare the two thinkers on philosophical anthropology and epistemology, making the case that Bourdieu’s relational worldview fills in significant gaps in Schutz’s account. However, the author subsequently argues that Schutz’s vocabulary can, in turn, help plug holes in Bourdieu’s perspective too, pushing the latter toward becoming a “relational phenomenology.” These holes are, first, the sketchy depiction of conscious activity associated with the concept of habitus and, second, the neglect of how individual lifeworlds are structured by multiple fields.
Catherine Connell and Ashley Mears
Chapter abstract The work of Pierre Bourdieu provides a framework to see how class position is written on the body and expressed through classed styles of walking, talking, gesturing, eating, drinking, and so forth. This chapter considers how Bourdieu’s work on the body has informed and advanced empirical research on the body. From Bourdieu’s perspective, each body is the visible product of the composition and volumes of class-specific capitals accrued over the course of a lifetime, and it can be a powerful resource, or liability, depending upon the fit between one’s bodily capital and the field in which one is positioned. In particular, the chapter considers how women’s bodies have signified status for men’s class projects far more than the reverse, one of the many gendered implications of bodily capital and class reproduction.
Chapter abstract Having grown up in the relative cultural backwater of Béarn, in southwestern France, Pierre Bourdieu found himself wrenched and jolted by his earliest encounters with French intellectual society. His perceptions, tastes, and dispositions offered constant reminders that he had not been made for this world. But the same disjuncture yielded productive insights and made Bourdieu into an accidental anthropologist of intellectual life. This chapter thematizes “the social relations of intellectual life” as a linchpin of his work, first tracing the sociobiographical roots of this interest and dividing Bourdieu’s career into four successive but overlapping phases, each defined by a particular approach to the subject. The chapter then highlights several moments in his theory where the focus on intellectual life holds the key to its deeper purpose or meaning. A key task for sociology after Bourdieu is to develop a more advanced theory of “intellectual practical sense.”