Book Review: “Sociology and Complexity Science”

by B. Castellani & F. William Hafferty; Springer, 2009



Sociology and complexity science have long evolved together. In the early 1900s, the economist Vilfredo Pareto popularized the scale-free power law, in the 1930s Jacob Moreno drew the first applied network graphs (the so-called sociograms), in the 1960s Stanley Migram discovered the famous six degrees of separation, in the 1970s Mark Granovetter taught us about the strength of weak ties, and in the 1980s Robert Axelrod demonstrated the complexity of cooperation. These and many other contributions to the social sciences happened before complexity science was established as a field of inquiry by itself (the Santa Fe Institute, which is exclusively dedicated to the study of complex systems, was founded in 1984, for example). Castellani and Hafferty have taken up the long overdue task to examine how both fields, sociology and complexity, have evolved in parallel, and how they are related nowadays.

Hilbert, M. (2012). Brian Castellani, Frederick William Hafferty, ,Sociology and Complexity Science (2009) Springer 978-3-540-88461-3. Automatica, 48(12), 3187–3188. doi:10.1016/j.automatica.2012.08.002

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