Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 02: Here comes everybody

Today we discuss Clay Shirky's ideas from "Here Comes Everbody".   The diagram above represents a general diagram of how social outcomes are explained in the sociology and more generally in social sciences.   Known as the "Coleman boat" it suggests that explanations of (4) social outcomes need to model more than how the social context changed, but also what social actors are like, how they interact and the actions they take.

Shirky's book provides lots of examples of how changes in social technology enabled changes in the potential for collective action among ordinary people.   In this class, we use these types of examples to increase our understanding of how each stage in the model contributes to our understanding of how and why social change or other social outcomes occur.

The topic of "group processes" is primarily concerned with the development of theories and models of parts (2) and (3).  In this class we will motivate our desire to learn more about particular theories at the "micro level" because of our desire to understand events and outcomes at the "macro" level (1,4).

Spreadsheet for Shirky Book Work

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