Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences

Author: David Byrne
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134714734
Format: PDF
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Chaos and complexity are the new buzz words in both science and contemporary society. The ideas they represent have enormous implications for the way we understand and engage with the world. Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences introduces students to the central ideas which surround the chaos/complexity theories. It discusses key concepts before using them as a way of investigating the nature of social research. By applying them to such familiar topics as urban studies, education and health, David Byrne allows readers new to the subject to appreciate the contribution which complexity theory can make to social research and to illuminating the crucial social issues of our day.

Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences

Author: David Byrne
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134084986
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For the past two decades, ‘complexity’ has informed a range of work across the social sciences. There are diverse schools of complexity thinking, and authors have used these ideas in a multiplicity of ways, from health inequalities to the organization of large scale firms. Some understand complexity as emergence from the rule-based interactions of simple agents and explore it through agent-based modelling. Others argue against such ‘restricted complexity’ and for the development of case-based narratives deploying a much wider set of approaches and techniques. Major social theorists have been reinterpreted through a complexity lens and the whole methodological programme of the social sciences has been recast in complexity terms. In four parts, this book seeks to establish ‘the state of the art’ of complexity-informed social science as it stands now, examining: the key issues in complexity theory the implications of complexity theory for social theory the methodology and methods of complexity theory complexity within disciplines and fields. It also points ways forward towards a complexity-informed social science for the twenty-first century, investigating the argument for a post-disciplinary, ‘open’ social science. Byrne and Callaghan consider how this might be developed as a programme of teaching and research within social science. This book will be particularly relevant for, and interesting to, students and scholars of social research methods, social theory, business and organization studies, health, education, urban studies and development studies.

Handbook of Research on Chaos and Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences

Author: Erçetin, ?efika ?ule
Publisher: IGI Global
ISBN: 1522501495
Format: PDF, Docs
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The concept of “chaos”, and chaos theory, though it is a field of study specifically in the field of mathematics with applications in physics, engineering, economics, management, and education, has also recently taken root in the social sciences. As a method of analyzing the way in which the digital age has connected society more than ever, chaos and complexity theory serves as a tactic to tie world events and cope with the information overload that is associated with heightened social connectivity. The Handbook of Research on Chaos and Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences explores the theories of chaos and complexity as applied to a variety of disciplines including political science, organizational and management science, economics, and education. Presenting diverse research-based perspectives on mathematical patterns in the world system, this publication is an essential reference source for scholars, researchers, mathematicians, social theorists, and graduate-level students in a variety of disciplines.

A Complexity Theory for Public Policy

Author: Göktuğ Morçöl
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136283463
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Complexity theory has become popular in the natural and social sciences over the last few decades as a result of the advancements in our understanding of the complexities in natural and social phenomena. Concepts and methods of complexity theory have been applied by scholars of public affairs in North America and Europe, but a comprehensive framework for these applications is lacking. A Complexity Theory for Public Policy proposes a conceptual synthesis and sets a foundation for future developments and applications. In this book, Göktuğ Morçöl convincingly makes the case that complexity theory can help us understand better the self-organizational, emergent, and co-evolutionary characteristics of complex policy systems. In doing so, he discuss the epistemological implications of complexity theory and the methods complexity researchers use, and those methods they could use. As the complexity studies spread more around the world in the coming decades, the contents of this book will become appealing to larger audiences, particularly to scholars and graduate students in public affairs. The unique combination of synthesis and explanation of concepts and methods found in this book will serve as reference frames for future works.

Dealing with Complexity

Author: Robert L. Flood
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475722354
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Contents 11. 2. 2. Four Main Areas of Dispute 247 11. 2. 3. Summary . . . 248 11. 3. Making Sense of the Issues . . 248 11. 3. 1. Introduction . . . . 248 11. 3. 2. The Scientific Approach 248 11. 3. 3. Science and Matters of Society . 249 11. 3. 4. Summary . 251 11. 4. Tying It All Together . . . . 251 11. 4. 1. Introduction . . . . 251 11. 4. 2. A Unifying Framework 251 11. 4. 3. Critical Systems Thinking 253 11. 4. 4. Summary 254 11. 5. Conclusion 254 Questions . . . 255 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Chapter One SYSTEMS Origin and Evolution, Terms and Concepts 1. 1. INTRODUCTION We start this book with Theme A (see Figure P. I in the Preface), which aims to develop an essential and fundamental understanding of systems science. So, what is systems science? When asked to explain what systems science is all about, many systems scientists are confronted with a rather daunting task. The discipline tends to be presented and understood in a fragmented way and very few people hold an overview understanding of the subject matter, while also having sufficient in-depth competence in many and broad-ranging subject areas where the ideas are used. Indeed, it was precisely this difficulty that identified the need for a comprehensive well-documented account such as is presented here in Dealing with Complexity.

Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

Author: Mark Mason
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444307363
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A collection of scholarly essays, Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change. Explains the contributions of complexity theory to philosophy of education, curriculum, and educational research Brings together new research by an international team of contributors Debates issues ranging from the culture of curriculum, to the implications of work of key philosophers such as Foucault and John Dewey for educational change Demonstrates how social scientists and social and education policy makers are drawing on complexity theory to answer questions such as: why is it that education decision-makers are so resistant to change; how does change in education happen; and what does it take to make these changes sustainable? Considers changes in use of complexity theory; developed principally in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and economics, and now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education

Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Future

Author: Jon Norberg
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231508865
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Complexity theory illuminates the many interactions between natural and social systems, providing a better understanding of the general principles that can help solve some of today's most pressing environmental issues. Complexity theory was developed from key ideas in economics, physics, biology, and the social sciences and contributes to important new concepts for approaching issues of environmental sustainability such as resilience, scaling, and networks. Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Future is a hands-on treatment of this exciting new body of work and its applications, bridging the gap between theoretical and applied perspectives in the management of complex adaptive systems. Focusing primarily on natural resource management and community-based conservation, the book features contributions by leading scholars in the field, many of whom are among the leaders of the Resilience Alliance. Theoreticians will find a valuable synthesis of new ideas on resilience, sustainability, asymmetries, information processing, scaling, and networks. Managers and policymakers will benefit from the application of these ideas to practical approaches and empirical studies linked to social-ecological systems. Chapters present new twists on such existing approaches as scenario planning, scaling analyses, and adaptive management, and the book concludes with recommendations on how to manage natural resources, how to involve stakeholders in the dynamics of a system, and how to explain the difficult topic of scale. A vital reference for an emerging discipline, this volume provides a clearer understanding of the conditions required for systems self-organization, since the capacity of any system to self-organize is crucial for its sustainability over time.

Complexity and Public Policy

Author: Robert Geyer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135153485
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book provides a clear, concise and readable introduction to complexity thinking, its application to the social sciences and public policy, and the relevance of some of its various tools to those fields of politics, health, the international realm, development, planning and terrorism. The authors argue that the foundation for many of the current crises in these areas can be traced to the attempt by social scientists and policy-makers to treat these systems and processes as fundamentally orderly, predictable and controllable. By providing an overview of complex systems, a practical introduction to basic concepts and tools of these systems, and examples for understanding and managing them in real life policy situations they provide an exciting new perspective for rethinking our basic approaches to the social sciences and for understanding and managing the increasingly interdependent world of public policy. The book is vital reading for students and scholars of the social sciences and public policy, and also policymakers and the policy actor audience.

Complexity and Social Movements

Author: Graeme Chesters
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113428781X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Fusing two key concerns of contemporary sociology: globalization and its discontents, and the 'complexity turn' in social theory, authors Chesters and Welsh utilize complexity theory to analyze the shifting constellation of social movement networks that constitute opposition to neo-liberal globalization. They explore how seemingly chaotic and highly differentiated social actors interacting globally through computer mediated communications, face-to-face gatherings and protests constitute a 'multitude' not easily grasped through established models of social and political change. Drawing upon extensive empirical research and utilizing concepts drawn from the natural and social sciences this book suggests a framework for understanding mobilization, identity formation and information flows in global social movements operating within complex societies. It suggests that this 'movement of movements' exhibits an emergent order on the edge of chaos, a turbulence that is recasting political agency in the twenty-first century.