Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences

Author: David Byrne
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134714734
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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, Docs
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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.

Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

Author: Mark Mason
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444307363
Format: PDF, ePub
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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

A Complexity Theory for Public Policy

Author: Göktuğ Morçöl
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136283463
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Chaos Complexity and Sociology

Author: Raymond A. Eve
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9780761908906
Format: PDF
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The authors of this volume provide a timely collection of articles which examine the emerging myths and theories surrounding the study of chaos and complexity. In the second part methodological matters are considered. Finally, conceptual models and applications are presented. This perceptive and thorough volume will be useful to sociologists and others interested in chaos and complexity theory.

Introduction to Computational Social Science

Author: Claudio Cioffi-Revilla
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319501313
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This textbook provides a comprehensive and reader-friendly introduction to the field of computational social science (CSS). Presenting a unified treatment, the text examines in detail the four key methodological approaches of automated social information extraction, social network analysis, social complexity theory, and social simulation modeling. This updated new edition has been enhanced with numerous review questions and exercises to test what has been learned, deepen understanding through problem-solving, and to practice writing code to implement ideas. Topics and features: contains more than a thousand questions and exercises, together with a list of acronyms and a glossary; examines the similarities and differences between computers and social systems; presents a focus on automated information extraction; discusses the measurement, scientific laws, and generative theories of social complexity in CSS; reviews the methodology of social simulations, covering both variable- and object-oriented models.

Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Author: Michael Wolf-Branigin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199841462
Format: PDF
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Complexity as a paradigm has been underutilized by social work, but this cutting-edge pocket guide makes a convincing argument for its use. Every agency worker has been faced with a deluge of records, making it difficult to grasp onto structures and trends undergirding behavior. Complexity theory studies the interactions of competitive and cooperative tendencies of agents such as individuals, families, groups, or communities, making the case that there is a hidden order in things that are seemingly chaotic. Exploring their interactions involves identifying a set of simple rules that the agents follow, revealing patterns that emerge without a predetermined template. Readers will learn how to frame their research using the components found in complex systems by using their existing knowledge of research methods and applying basic mathematical concepts. Concepts such as bordering between chaos and equilibrium, diverse perspectives, diverse heuristics, robustness, and wisdom of crowds are considered and applied to social work research studies. Basic introductions on game theory, graph theory, Boolean logic, decision theory, and network science provide the necessary mathematical background for understanding interconnectedness and networking. The next part of the book is a hands-on guide to the agent-based modeling software NetLogo. By inputting initial parameters and rules, the outputted models provide valuable information for visualizing unintended consequences, including how conflict can foster cooperation and how threats to a social network can improve the network's robustness and resiliency. The result is both a user-friendly introduction to using complexity theory in a socio-environmental context and a framework that provides an overarching structure for investigating process, outcomes, and the collective behavior of groups.

Dealing with Complexity

Author: Robert L. Flood
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475722354
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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 and Public Policy

Author: Robert Geyer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135153485
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.