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In this book, the author proposes a fundamental new approach to the study of one of the most central concepts in social analysis, that of social structure. He critiques the leading models and argues that each is inadequate to the task of explaining the complexity of structures that make up society and the processes by which these structures are formed and are interlinked. A new conceptualization of the processes of societal formation is then presented, drawing on recent developments in the physical, biological and cognitive sciences. This new conceptualization allows for the multiplicity of processes of structuration, which the author refers to as logics, some of which function at the individual or "micro" level, others of which function at the organizational or "meso" level, and still others of which function at the society-wide, or "macro" level. The author terms this new conceptualization a theory of heterarchy, and it is the first truly comprehensive theory of societal structuration.Read more
- Original theory of the nature of societies - important topic in the social sciences
- Includes an analytical review of the vast literature of social structure
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"Kontopoulos provides a wonderfully thorough and lucid platform from which to understand and interpret the many complex new developments in social theory." Harrison White, Columbia University
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- Date Published: November 2006
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521032698
- length: 496 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
- weight: 0.72kg
- contains: 20 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Metatheoretical Considerations:
1. Epistemic strategies in contemporary science
2. The dynamics of emergence: the case against reductionism
3. The nature of hierarchical and heterarchical organization
4. Some formal theses on hierarchy and heterarchy
Part II. Compositionist Logics:
5. Methodological individualism
6. Constructionism/compositionism: elementary notions
7. Complex systems of interaction
Part III. Logics of Hierarchy:
8. Hierarchy theory and postfunctional analysis
9. The hierarchical theory of social structure
Part IV. Heterarchical Logics:
10. Heterarchical thinking in social thought
11. Neural networks as a model of structure
Part V. The Phenomenology of Social Structures:
12. Modalities and systems of interaction
13. Heterarchical levels of social structure
14. On structural totalities
15. In conclusion
Appendix: the logics of structuration: an inventory
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