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Book Sections Year : 2013

Network analysis in the ‘Morphogenetic Society’ project: A neo-structural exploration and illustration

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Abstract

This chapter looks at the extent to which network analysis and a neo-structural approach to social phenomena can contribute to the morphogenetic approach in exploring the notion of Morphogenetic Society. An initial summary presents network analysis, in combination with other methodologies, as a technique exploring morphostatic and morphogenetic processes at the meso-level of social reality. An empirical illustration suggests that fundamental social processes (solidarity, control, socialization, regulation, etc.) driving the co-evolution of structure, culture, and agency can be further specified and understood within such a dialogue. In order to illustrate this programmatic perspective an example is provided: a network study of a 450-year-old French institution for the social control of markets. The focus is on the surprising resilience of this institution as seen through the cyclical dynamics of a key network (the advice network) operative among its lay judges and their judicial decisions based on normative, cultural choices. This case in point raises the question of when a change of network should be considered enough of a change to constitute a case of morphogenesis. It thus illustrates the need for further specification in theorizing morphogenesis, morphostasis, and homeostasis.

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hal-01800270 , version 1 (25-05-2018)

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Emmanuel Lazega. Network analysis in the ‘Morphogenetic Society’ project: A neo-structural exploration and illustration. Margaret S. Archer. Social Morphogenesis, Springer, pp.167 - 185, 2013, 9789400761278. ⟨hal-01800270⟩
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