×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Social Structures
     

Social Structures

by John Levi Martin
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691127115

ISBN-13: 9780691127118

Pub. Date: 07/27/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Social Structures is a book that examines how structural forms spontaneously arise from social relationships. Offering major insights into the building blocks of social life, it identifies which locally emergent structures have the capacity to grow into larger ones and shows how structural tendencies associated with smaller structures shape and constrain

Overview

Social Structures is a book that examines how structural forms spontaneously arise from social relationships. Offering major insights into the building blocks of social life, it identifies which locally emergent structures have the capacity to grow into larger ones and shows how structural tendencies associated with smaller structures shape and constrain patterns of larger structures. The book then investigates the role such structures have played in the emergence of the modern nation-state.

Bringing together the latest findings in sociology, anthropology, political science, and history, John Levi Martin traces how sets of interpersonal relationships become ordered in different ways to form structures. He looks at a range of social structures, from smaller ones like families and street gangs to larger ones such as communes and, ultimately, nation-states. He finds that the relationships best suited to forming larger structures are those that thrive in conditions of inequality; that are incomplete and as sparse as possible, and thereby avoid the problem of completion in which interacting members are required to establish too many relationships; and that abhor transitivity rather than assuming it. Social Structures argues that these "patronage" relationships, which often serve as means of loose coordination in the absence of strong states, are nevertheless the scaffolding of the social structures most distinctive to the modern state, namely the command army and the political party.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691127118
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/27/2009
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface: From Big Structures to Small ix

Chapter 1: Introduction: Social Action and Structures 1

Chapter 2: From a Small Circle of Friends to a Long Line of Rivals 26

Chapter 3: The Preservation of Equality through Exchange Structures 72

Chapter 4: The Institutionalization of Inequality: Pecking Orders 104

Chapter 5: The Escape from Comparability and the Genesis of Influence Structures 151

Chapter 6: The Short Cut to Structure with Patronage Pyramids 189

Chapter 7: The Institution of Transitivity and the Production of Command Structures 232

Chapter 8: From Pyramid to Party 283

Chapter 9: From Structures to Institutions 321

References 343

Index 383

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews