Social complexity


Social complexity

Social complexity is the approach to social phenomena that tries to analyze a social system as a complex system. The social complexity can be seen as an impact on the social analysis of increasingly influential complexity theory. It can be understood as the arrangement of contemporary social studies in the paradigm of a complex adaptive system, evolutionary computation, a self-organizing system in almost all aspects of social sciences, sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, economics, etc.

Aspects of social complexity

Some important properties of social complexity are:
* The understanding of differences among description levels in a social system; at the minimum the distinguishment of macro-level (e.g.: collective or aggregate phenomena), meso-level (e.g.: social interaction among social agents), and micro-level (e.g.: the belief systems of individual social agents). In this case, there is a tendency to see a social system as a multi-agent system.
* There are macro-micro linkages between description levels. The macro levels emerged from the micro levels and in return there is a causality relationship between the macro properties and the micro. This aspect is reminiscent of the concept of emergence in a complex adaptive system. In return, the interplay between macro and micro levels are commonly modelled as non-linear phenomena.
* There is a tendency to use formal approaches in social complexity studies, e.g.: game theory, cellular automaton, evolutionary programming, neural network modeling in many aspects, dynamical system modeling, computer simulation, etc.

Some forms of social complexity

It is believed that social complexity is the cumulative form of contemporary research into complex systems. Some famous subjects often related to social complexity studies include computational sociology, cognitive science, econophysics.

External links

* [http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/ The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation] - the principal journal covering this area and freely accessible
* [http://socialcomplexity.gmu.edu/ The Center for Social Complexity, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University] - First university-based research center specifically dedicated to the scientific investigation of social complexity across all levels-of-analysis: cognitive, decision-making, groups, organizations, societies, and international or world systems. Offers the world's first Ph.D. Program in Computational Social Science. Founded in 2002 by Prof. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla.
* [http://www.bandungfe.net/faq/ Frequently asked questions about social complexity]
* [http://www.bandungfe.net/ The Official Web of Bandung Fe Institute]
* [http://cfpm.org The Centre for Policy Modelling] - a research group specialising in simulating social complexity, with large open-access list of papers
* [http://essa.eu.org/ The European Social Simulation Association]
* [http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/naacsos/ The North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Sciences (NAACSOS)] Leading professional association in North America for social complexity scientists and computational social scientists
* [http://www.springerlink.com/content/102865/ Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory (CMOT)] Journal of The North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Sciences (NAACSOS)
* [http://www.personal.kent.edu/~bcastel3/ Sociology and Complexity Science Website]


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