Professor Murmann's Blog: Social Mechanisms: An Analytical Approach to Social Theory

Social Mechanisms: An Analytical Approach to Social Theory

I am a big fan of explanations of social phenomena that set forth the precise causal mechanisms that produce them. This book edited by Peter Hedstroem and Richard Swedberg provides a very good introduction to the approach. The only think I don’t like about the piece its believe that all mechanisms in sociology need to refer to individuals.  You can download the overview chapter here:  Social-mechanism.pdf Click on “More…” for a Table of Contents.

1. Social mechanisms: an introductory essay Peter Hedstroem and Richard Swedberg;
2. Social mechanisms and social dynamics Thomas C. Schelling;
3. A plea for mechanisms Jon Elster;
4. Real virtuality Gudmund Hernes;
5. Concatenations of mechanisms Diego Gambetta;
6. Do economists use social mechanisms to explain? Tyler Cowen;
7. Social mechanisms of dissonance reduction Timur Kuran;
8. Social mechanisms without black boxes Raymond Boudon;
9. Is sociological theory too grand for social mechanisms? Axel van den Berg;
10. Theoretical mechanisms and the empirical study of social processes Aage Sørensen;
11. Monopolistic competition as a mechanism Arthur Stinchcombe;
12. Rational imitation Peter Hedstroem.