- The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- What is Analytical Sociology All About? An Introductory Essay
- Analytical Sociology and Theories of the Middle Range
- Social Dynamics from the Bottom Up: Agent-Based Models of Social Interaction
- Segregation Dynamics
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
- Social Influence: The Puzzling Nature of Success in Cultural Markets
- The Contagiousness of Divorce
- Collective Action
- Conditional Choice
- Network Dynamics
- Threshold Models of Social Influence
- Time and Scheduling
- Homophily and the Focused Organization of Ties
- Dominance Hierarchies
- Game Theory
- Analytic Ethnography
- Historical Sociology
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This book deals with analytical sociology, an approach for understanding the social world. Analytical sociology explains important social facts such as network structures, patterns of residential segregation, typical beliefs, cultural tastes, and common ways of acting. It does so by detailing in clear and precise ways the mechanisms through which social facts are brought about. This introductory chapter discusses some of the fundamentals of analytical sociology, with particular emphasis on two interrelated aspects: the explanatory principles guiding the approach and the type of explanatory factors being evoked. It first describes what is meant by a ‘mechanism‘ and a ‘mechanism-based explanation’ before turning to structural individualism, a methodological doctrine according to which social facts should be explained as the intended or unintended outcomes of individuals’ actions. It also present various examples to make the abstract principles more concrete and concludes with a brief overview of the book’s organization.
Peter Hedström is Professor of Sociology and an Official Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and previously held faculty positions at the University of Chicago, Stockholm University, and Singapore Management University. He recently published Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), and he has a special interest in analytical sociology and the analysis of complex social networks.
Peter Bearman is Director of the Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences, the Cole Professor of Social Science, Codirector of the Health and Society Scholars Program, and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. A recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2007, Bearman is currently investigating the social and environmental determinants of the autism epidemic. Current projects also include an ethnographic study of the funeral industry and, with support from the American Legacy Foundation, an investigation of the social and economic consequences of tobacco-control policy.
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