- 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 article examines the dynamics of conditional choice as a mechanism for explaining social action, with particular emphasis on identifying model frameworks for the analysis of the trajectory and outcome of conditional decision-making processes. It begins with an overview of conditional decision-making, including key words and concepts, followed by a discussion of conditional decision rules and initial states of activity and how they shape the basic trajectory and outcome of a conditional decision-making process. It then considers possible sources of resistance to influence, focusing on the ways unconditional actors pull all other group members towards their position and how individual variation in resistance to influence can stop a process from reaching complete conformity. It also explores patterns of social interaction and how they work in combination with resistance to influence to account for variation in activity among individuals or groups, paying attention to the contingent effect of local networks.
Keywords: conditional choice, social action, conditional decision-making, conditional decision rules, initial states of activity, resistance to influence, unconditional actors, influence, social interaction, local networks
Meredith Rolfe is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and a Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Her recently completed book, Voting Together, uses conditional decision models to challenge the conventional explanation of why college-educated citizens are more likely to vote. Her current research uses the conditional choice approach to better understand why women support social welfare more than men, why ethnic minorities earn less than ethnic majorities, and why corporations rise and fall in public esteem. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.
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