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Sociology and the New Systems Theory
Toward a Theoretical Synthesis
Sociology and the New Systems Theory
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Kenneth D. Bailey - Author
Price: $60.50 
Hardcover - 372 pages
Release Date: January 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-1743-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1743-0

Quantity:  
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 372 pages
Release Date: January 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-1744-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1744-7

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

This book provides current information about the many recent contributions of social systems theory. While some sociologists feel that the systems age ended with functionalism, in reality a number of recent developments have occurred within the field. The author makes these developments accessible to sociologists and other non-systems scholars, and begins a synthesis of the burgeoning systems field and mainstream sociological theory. The analysis shows not only that important points of rapprochement exist between systems theory and sociological theory, but also that systems theory has in some cases anticipated developments needed in mainstream theory.

After providing a review of classical theory, this book carefully sketches the chief contributions of living systems theory, social entropy theory, autopoiesis, and other approaches. It shows that these approaches are without the flaws of earlier functionalism, yet they retain the breadth and integrative potential needed by mainstream theorists concerned about the threat of hyperspecialization and fragmentation within sociology.

Kenneth D. Bailey is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Methods of Social Research and Social Entropy Theory, also published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

Preface

1. Social Theory and Systems Theory

Plan of the Book

2. Social Systems Theory

Types of Systems
Typology
Why Study Systems?
Toward a Positive Positivism
Blocking
Criticism
Counterpoint

3. The Age of Equilibrium

The Appeal of Equilibrium
Some Major Equilibrium Theorists
Homeostasis
Additional Equilibrium Models
Summing Up
Counterpoint

4. The Age of Entropy

General Systems Theory
Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics
Counterpoint

5. Living Systems Theory

Commentary
Counterpoint

6. Social Entropy Theory

The Challenges
Summarizing SET
Immutables
Organization
The Central Problem of Social Order
Commentary
Counterpoint

7. Living Systems Theory and Social Entropy Theory: A Congruence

Divergence
Towards Congruence
Technology
Remainder of Set Compared with LST
Counterpoint

8. Autopoiesis

Are Social Systems Autopoietic?
Counterpoint

9. The Dual Synthesis

Systems Theory
Mainstream Sociology Theory
Concluding Remarks

References

Author Index

Subject Index



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