Order on the Edge of Chaos: Social Psychology and the Problem of Social Order

Order on the Edge of Chaos: Social Psychology and the Problem of Social Order


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Order and stability are tenuous and fragile. People have to work to create and sustain a semblance of stability and order in their lives and in their organizations and larger communities. Order on the Edge of Chaos compares different ideas about how we coordinate and cooperate. The ideas come from 'micro-sociology', and they offer new answers to the classic question of Thomas Hobbes: 'how is social order possible?' The most common answers in sociology, political science, and economics assume a fundamental tension between individual and group interests. This volume reveals that social orders are problematic even without such tension, because when people interact with each other, they verify their identities, feel and respond to emotions, combine different goal frames, and develop shared responsibility. The ties of people to groups result from many aspects of their social interactions, and these cannot be explained by individual self-interest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107433977
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/09/2015
Pages: 342
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Edward J. Lawler is the Martin P. Catherwood Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, New York. He has co-authored three books and edited or co-edited thirty-one volumes in the annual series, Advances in Group Processes. In 2001, he received the Cooley-Mead Award for career achievement from the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association, and in 2003 his paper, 'An Affect Theory of Social Exchange' won the 2002 Theory Prize from the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association. His book (co-authored with Shane Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon), Social Commitments in a Depersonalized World (2009), won the 2010 James Coleman Best Book Award from the Rationality and Society Section of the American Sociological Association.

Shane Thye is a Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina. He is the series co-editor (with Edward J. Lawler) of Advances in Group Processes. He recently completed Social Commitments in a Depersonalized World (2009) with Lawler and Yoon. He works primarily in the areas of group dynamics and experimental sociology. His work has appeared in outlets such as the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces.

Jeongkoo Yoon is Professor in the School of Management at Ewha Womans University, South Korea. His research applies power and exchange theories to solve issues of contemporary organizations such as empowerment, leadership, and change. He coauthored the book Social Commitments in a Depersonalized World (2009) with Lawler and Thye. He also published two award-winning best seller books in Korea, Change Management for 100 Year Sustainable Companies (2010) and What Is Authenticity? (2012). He served as Editor of the Korean Journal of Management and Chair of the Korean Association of Leadership. He is currently on the editorial board of the British Journal of Management.

Table of Contents

1. The social psychology of social order: an introduction Edward J. Lawler, Shane R. Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon; 2. The evolutionary biology and the sociology of social order Jonathan Turner; 3. Social rationality and weak solidarity: a co-evolutionary approach to social order Siegwart Lindenberg; 4. An integrative theory of action: the model of frame selection Hartmut Esser and Clemens Kroneberg; 5. The center cannot hold: networks, echo chambers, and polarization Daniel J. DellaPosta and Michael W. Macy; 6. Social exchange and social order: an affect theory approach Edward J. Lawler, Shane R. Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon; 7. Institutions, trust, and social order Karen S. Cook; 8. Identity verification and the social order Peter J. Burke and Jan E. Stets; 9. Identities, roles, and social institutions: an affect control account of social order David R. Heise, Neil J. MacKinnon and Wolfgang Scholl; 10. The gender frame and social order Cecilia L. Ridgeway; 11. Status, power, and social order Theodore Kemper; 12. Interaction order: the making of social facts Anne Warfield Rawls; 13. The arts of together: social coordination as dyadic achievement Hannah Wohl and Gary Alan Fine; 14. Dignity as moral motivation: the problem of social order writ small Steven Hitlin and Matthew Andersson; 15. The legitimacy of groups and the mobilization of resources Morris Zelditch; 16. Social order from the bottom up? Peter V. Marsden.

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