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About this product
- DescriptionPhilosophers, social scientists, and laymen have used two perspectives in analyzing social action. One sees man's action as the result of causal forces, and the other sees action as purposive and goal directed. Mathematical treatment of social action has shown this same dichotomy. Some models of behavior describe a causal process, in which there is place for intention or purpose. Most stochastic models of behavior, whether individual or group, are like this. Ather body of work, however, employs purpose, anticipation of some future state, and action designed to maximize the proximity to some goal. Classical microecomic theory, statistical decision theory, and game theory exemplify this direction.This book examines these two directions of work, and makes original contributions to the second. An introductory chapter outlines these two bodies of work, and casts them in a common frame, to display their similarities and differences. Chapter 2 reviews at length recent work in stochastic processes that makes up the first body of work, which sees social action as the resultant of causal forces. The remaining chapters develop a mathematical framework for the study of systems of social action using a purposive theoretical base. These chapters are designed particularly to contribute to the study of collective decisions, a form of social action that has proved particularly challenging to theoretical analysis. First published in 1973, this became a significant work both in problem solving and in the future career of the author. It is of continuing importance to researchers and students interested in statistical analysis.
- Author BiographyJames Coleman was University Professor in Sociology at the University of Chicago, and director of its National Opinion Research Center. His work on educational opportunity - the Coleman Report of 1966 - and subsequent work on white flight and Catholic schooling were of considerable significance in policymaking. His research has profoundly affected our understanding of social change and collective action theory and has widely influenced the course of education in America. - Robert Michael, Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. Robert Smith is presently researcher at the Cambridge-MIT Institute. His publications include theoretical and empirical analyses of political and social processes, statistical methods, and A Handbook of Social Science Methods.
- Author(s)James S. Coleman
- PublisherTaylor & Francis Inc
- Date of Publication01/11/2005
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Place of PublicationSomerset
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Note1, black & white illustrations
- Weight460 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Introduction byRobert Smith
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Edition Statement1st New edition
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