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The Critical Mass in Collective Action

The Critical Mass in Collective Action

$139.00 (C)

Part of Studies in Rationality and Social Change

  • Date Published: March 1993
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521308397

$ 139.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The problem of collective action is that each member of a group wants other members to make necessary sacrifices while he or she "free rides," reaping the benefits of collective action without doing the work. Inevitably the end result is that no one does the work and the common interest is not realized. This book analyzes the social pressure whereby groups solve the problem of collective action. The authors break new ground in showing that the problem of collective action requires a model of group process and cannot be deduced from simple models of individual behavior. They employ formal mathematical models to emphasize the role of small subgroups of especially motivated individuals who form the "critical mass" that sets collective action in motion.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book is a useful addition to recent efforts to stretch rational-choice collective-action theory beyond its original assumptions....this contributes to a healthy reawakened debate on the conditions surrounding collective action." Sun-Ki Chai, Social Forces

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1993
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521308397
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 222 x 145 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The critical mass and the problem of collective action
    2. Building blocks: goods, groups and processes
    3. The paradox of group size
    4. The dynamics of production functions
    5. Social networks: density, centralization and cliques
    6. Selectivity in social networks
    7. Reach and selectivity as strategies of recruitment
    8. Unfinished business
    Name index
    Subject index.

  • Authors

    Gerald Marwell

    Pamela Oliver

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