Social Structures and the Economy Leave a comment

A focus on the process of change over time is the main issue in many sociological studies. Change can occur within a family unit or in the economy of a society the changes are often accompanied by complex causes and consequences. This is why it is common to use the term “social dynamics” to be used in situations which there is interest in describing the sequence of steps of changes, the way in which the sequence unfolds, as well as whether or it could be different. Social dynamics is not often utilized in studies that only look at a simple before-and-after analysis of the condition of the system at two distinct times.

In some cases there is a feedback effect that governs the pattern of change: small deviations from equilibrium are likely to be remediated by compensating effects and so, changes may occur in a predictable way. In these instances the study of social dynamics is typically founded on models of non-equilibrium behavior, using mathematical techniques computing or physics to determine the reasons behind a system’s decision to deviate from equilibrium and how compensating forces bring it back to equilibrium.

In other instances the pattern of change is more influenced by a cause that is outside the system being studied. For example, some economic sociologists have studied effects of cultural factors on economic growth. Research has shown the way in which a culture’s attitude toward innovators can impact the growth of an economy. More innovation and higher rates of growth are associated with cultures which confer higher status to innovators.

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