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Identity and Control

How Social Formations Emerge (Second Edition)

Harrison C. White

Publication Year: 2012

In this completely revised edition of one of the foundational texts of network sociology, Harrison White refines and enlarges his groundbreaking theory of how social structure and culture emerge from the chaos and uncertainty of social life. Incorporating new contributions from a group of young sociologists and many fascinating and novel case studies, Identity and Control is the only major book of social theory that links social structure with the lived experience of individuals, providing a rich perspective on the kinds of social formations that develop in the process. Going beyond traditional sociological dichotomies such as agency/structure, individual/society, or micro/macro, Identity and Control presents a toolbox of concepts that will be useful to a wide range of social scientists, as well as those working in public policy, management, or associational life and, beyond, to any reader who is interested in understanding the dynamics of social life.

Published by: Princeton University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-xiv

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pp. xv-xvi

...Professor Scott Boorman of Yale University proposed in 2003 that I revise this 1992 book. I was reluctant; he came to stay in New York for a month to argue the case on blackboard and by copious notes on content. Then for several summer weeks in Paris, Scott continued discussion in the idyllic setting at Reid Hall, in the Columbia...

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PROLOGUE: Preview of Themes

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pp. xvii-xxiv

...For each ongoing sociocultural situation some implied searchlights from the different chapters of this book give us cues.We work outward from situations rather than impose boundaries. The data-mining of Quentin Van Doosselaere (2006) will suggest how, over two centuries, a capitalist trade economy spun out in networks around medieval Genoa. And closer to...

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ONE: Identities Seek Control

Anna Mitschele and Frederic Godart

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pp. 1-19

...An identity emerges for each of us only out of efforts at control amid contingencies and contentions in interaction. These control efforts need not have anything to do with domination over other identities. Before anything else, control is about finding footings among other identities. Such footing is a position that entails a stance, which brings...

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TWO: Networks and Stories

Haiko Lietz and Sabine Wuerkner

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pp. 20-62

...Social networks are traces from dynamics across netdom switchings. As two identities come over time to focus control attention upon each other, a stymied struggle can settle down into some story that marks a tie between them. A story is a tie placed in context. Stories structure switchings into accounts with a beginning, middle, and...

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THREE: Three Disciplines

Rozlyn Redd and Don Steiny

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pp. 63-111

...In chapter 1, we saw that a public was produced jointly as a forum for the fleeting netdoms—that are the phenomenological base of networks— and disciplines can emerge in such a forum as well. Consider how that can be: Durkheim has sold us on the primal necessity of deviance of at least some sort and degree...

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FOUR: Styles

Frederic Godart and Larissa Buchholz

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pp. 112-170

...Style is immediately available through attending to the sensibility that goes with texture in life. Some family mealtimes are homely in style. Graduation ceremonies are formal in style. I will always remember the style around Harvard Yard in mid-April 1976, where Elysian weather accompanied both extreme social...

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FIVE: Institutions and Rhetorics

Victor Corona and Matthias Thiemann

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pp. 171-219

...proves self-sustaining. They draw heavily on structural equivalence as they invoke story-sets across networks. Blockmodels, introduced in chapter 2, can suggest architectures, blueprints for institutional systems. A given institutional system has selected only some among the very many homomorphisms which as analysts we...

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SIX: Regimes of Control

Matthias Thiemann and Millie Su

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pp. 220-278

...discipline can be derived from, as well as built into, some control regime, yet it is of more restricted scope than in realms. Furthermore, control regimes can be interlocked, as in the political parties example described later, whereas disciplines are disjoint. Control regime is enabling, like identity and discipline, whereas...

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SEVEN: Getting Action

Larissa Buchholz and Haiko Lietz

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pp. 279-333

...other face cuts open the Sargasso Sea of social obligation and context to achieve openness sufficient for getting action. Any changes must originate from countering the inertia endemic in social organization, that is, change comes from fresh action curing blockage. Action is fresh when it overcomes the inherent lethargy of social life; it’s an accomplishment. That is what the chapter lays out: How to...

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EIGHT: Overview and Contexts

Frederic Godart and Victor Corona

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pp. 334-376

...Following that, I sketch the gist of each of the chapters, and point to some alternative angles, after which I return to linguistics, as in the prologue. The central third of this overview deals with operationalizing my approach through explicit modeling. The chapter ends with two sections of further musings about context...


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pp. 377-418


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pp. 419-427

E-ISBN-13: 9781400845903
E-ISBN-10: 1400845904
Print-ISBN-13: 9780691137155
Print-ISBN-10: 0691137153

Page Count: 472
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Second Edition