Social Morphogenesis

Editors: Archer, Margaret (Ed.)

  • Presents social change as a process of social morphogenesis
  • Advances generative mechanisms that produce rapid social change in late modernity
  • Opens a discussion about the possibility of Morphogenic Society as a new social formation
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About this book

The rate of social change has speeded up in the last three decades, but how do we explain this? This volume ventures what the generative mechanism is that produces such rapid change and discusses how this differs from late Modernity. Contributors examine if an intensification of morphogenesis (positive feedback that results in a change in social form) and a corresponding reduction in morphostasis (negative feedback that restores or reproduces the form of the social order) best captures the process involved.  This volume resists proclaiming a new social formation as so many books written by empiricists have done by extrapolating from empirical data.  Until we can convincingly demonstrate that a new generative mechanism is at work, it is premature to argue what accounts for the global changes that are taking place and where they will lead. More concisely we seek to answer the question whether or not current social change can be regarded as social morphogenesis. Only then, in the next volumes will the same team of authors be able to remove the question mark.

About the authors

Margaret Archer heads the project at EPFL 'From Modernity to Morphogenesis'. She was elected as the first woman President of the International Sociological Association at the 12th World Congress of Sociology. She is a founder member of both the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences and is a trustee of the Centre for Critical Realism. She studied at the University of London, graduating B.Sc. in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1967 with a thesis on The Educational Aspirations of English Working Class Parents. She was a lecturer at the University of Reading from 1966 to 1973. She is one of the most influential theorists in the critical realist tradition. At the 12th World Congress of Sociology, she was elected as the first woman President of the International Sociological Association, is a founder member of both the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. She is a Trustee of the Centre for Critical Realism.

Reviews

“Social Morphogenesis is the first volume in a series of books, edited by Margaret Archer, that seeks to develop an explanatory framework that can account for how the rate of social change has ‘speeded up’ in the last three decades. … I found each discussion incredibly valuable. The contributions made here have sharpened my understanding of morphogenesis as a meta-theory, which is providing the grounds for a sensible discussion on the future direction of society.” (Tom Brock, The Sociological Imagination, sociologicalimagination.org, March, 2015)

“Margaret Archer's contribution to critical realism has been an important part of the recent progress of the field, and her theory of morphogenesis is key to this progress. Her recent volume, Social Morphogenesis, represents a rigorous and serious step forward in the project of articulating this theory as both a meta-theory for the social sciences and a potential contribution to sociological theory.” (Understanding Society, understandingsociety.blogspot.de, May, 2014)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Social Morphogenesis and the Prospects of Morphogenic Society

    Archer, Margaret S.

    Pages 1-22

  • Morphogenesis and Social Change

    Porpora, Douglas V.

    Pages 25-37

  • The Morphogenetic Approach and the Idea of a Morphogenetic Society: The Role of Regularities

    Maccarini, Andrea M.

    Pages 39-60

  • Emergence and Morphogenesis: Causal Reduction and Downward Causation?

    Lawson, Tony

    Pages 61-84

  • Morphogenesis, Continuity and Change in the International Political System

    Wight, Colin

    Pages 85-101

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6128-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-6127-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Social Morphogenesis
Editors
  • Margaret Archer
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-6128-5
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-6128-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-6127-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 231
Number of Illustrations and Tables
14 b/w illustrations
Topics