This paper aims to illustrate how social sciences, sociology in particular, have theorized on societal transitions. The first section introduces some preliminary definitions. The assumption is that a societal transition is more than a social, economic or technological change. It is a large-scale and long-term macro process through which a given social system radically changes its structural basis, in terms of new socio-technical practices, governance rules, social and economic institutions, cultural frames, and patterns of social life. The second section provides an excursus on social science accounts on transitions. In particular, the attention has been given to Norbert Elias' famous study on the rise and fall of the court society in France, between 17th and 18th century and to Manuel Castells' recent analysis of the emergence of the network society. The third section discusses problems and challenges of standard approaches and suggests some building blocks of societal transition models, taken from complexity and social simulation literature. The concluding section suggests some way-forward measures towards a computational social science approach to societal transitions

A (Computational) Social Science Perspective on Societal Transitions / F. Squazzoni. - In: COMPUTATIONAL AND MATHEMATICAL ORGANIZATION THEORY. - ISSN 1381-298X. - 14:4(2008), pp. 266-282.

A (Computational) Social Science Perspective on Societal Transitions

F. Squazzoni
2008

Abstract

This paper aims to illustrate how social sciences, sociology in particular, have theorized on societal transitions. The first section introduces some preliminary definitions. The assumption is that a societal transition is more than a social, economic or technological change. It is a large-scale and long-term macro process through which a given social system radically changes its structural basis, in terms of new socio-technical practices, governance rules, social and economic institutions, cultural frames, and patterns of social life. The second section provides an excursus on social science accounts on transitions. In particular, the attention has been given to Norbert Elias' famous study on the rise and fall of the court society in France, between 17th and 18th century and to Manuel Castells' recent analysis of the emergence of the network society. The third section discusses problems and challenges of standard approaches and suggests some building blocks of societal transition models, taken from complexity and social simulation literature. The concluding section suggests some way-forward measures towards a computational social science approach to societal transitions
societal transitions; social change; Elias; Castells; social simulation
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/661161
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