Kenneth D. Bailey (sociologist)

Kenneth D. Bailey (sociologist)

Kenneth D. Bailey (1943) is an American sociologist, systems scientist and professor of sociology at the University of California in Los Angeles.


Bailey studied at the University of Texas at Austin. He got here a B.S. in mathematics in 1963, a M.A. in sociology in 1966 and a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1968. These last four years he got an N.D.E.A. Fellowships. Summer 1967 he participated in a Workshop in mathematical sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. [ Curriculum Vitae] of Kenneth D. Bailey.]

Since 1968 he works at the University of California, Los Angeles at the department of sociology as assistant Professor. From 1971 to 1974 he works here a director of a Population Research Program, a Survey Research Center at the University. From 1974 to 1989 he is associate professor and since then professor.

In between he is a scholar and visiting associate professor at the department of sociology at the Tulane University from 1981 to 1983. Since 1984 he is also a senior research fellow at the International Systems Science institute in La Jolla.

Bailey is a member of the American Sociological Association, the International Society for the Systems Sciences, where he was president in 2003, [ ISSS website, 2007.] and the International Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Bailey participated in scientific reviews as American Sociological Review fro 1974 to 1976, Systems Practice from 1987 to 1989, Behavioral Science from 1993 to 1997 and Systems Research and Behavioral Science since 1997. He also refereed in some dozen other magazines and books.


He works in the field of research methods, systems theory and environmental demography and ecology.

Sociology and new systems theory

Bailey asked the question Kenneth D. Bailey, "Sociology and the new systems theory: Toward a theoretical synthesis", Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1994.] if social systems theory even exists in the 1990s? And if we can speak of a new social systems theory? Now Bailey stated, that there the 1990s brought a new social systems theory that bears little resemblance to the old structural functionalist macro-theory of two decades ago, from authors like Talcott Parsons.

Social entropy theory

Social entropy theory is a macro-sociological systems theory. Social Entropy is a measure of the natural decay within a social system. It can refer to the decomposition of social structure or of the disappearance of social distinctions.

International Society for the Systems Sciences

The original goals of the founders in 1956 of the International Society for the Systems Sciences were to encourage the development, investigation, communication and promotion of theoretical systems, concepts, laws, and models in various fields of sciences. When Kenneth Bailey as president in 2003 suggested five additional contemporary goals: [ [ General Systems Bulletin, Volume XXXIII] ISSS, 2004.]
# To provide broader models which may help to remove anomalies in areas that are presently paralyzed by hyper-specialization.
# To provide a common framework for the comparative analyses (both synchronic and diachronic) of different fields.
# To specifically emphasize the study of nonlinear relationships and interactions, especially in fields that are overly descriptive or predominantly linear. Here the emphasis should be on the relationships among variables, rather than merely on the variables themselves (an emphasis that often predominates in overly narrow models).
# To stress generic systems concepts such as boundary, order, energy, entropy, equilibrium, emergence, holism, and information, that are common concerns of many fields, and to suggest standard terms and measures for such concepts.
# To combat tendencies for piecemeal analysis or simplistic reduction by stressing holistic, unitary, perhaps emergent) measures of systems state that are designed to preclude analysis solely of a single portion of a system, or of a single level of a system hierarchy. Examples are: system entropy, system integration, and system equilibrium.

See also

* Living systems theory
* Sociology
* Taxonomy


Bailey wrote several books, articles and papers. A selection:
* 1978. "Methods of Social Research". New York: Free Press, 1978
* 1985. "Systems Inquiring: Applications". With Bela H. Banathy et al. (ed.), Volume II of the Proceedings of the Society for General Systems Research International Conference. Seaside, CA: Intersystems Publications.
* 1990. "Social Entropy Theory". Albany, New York: State University of New York (SUNY) Press.
* 1994. "Sociology and the new systems theory: Toward a theoretical synthesis". Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
* 1994. "Typologies and Taxonomies: An Introduction to Classification Techniques". Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1994.
* 1997. "Systems Thinking, Globalization of Knowledge, and Communitarian Ethics". Edited with Yong Pil Rhee. Proceedings of the International Society for the Systems Sciences International Conference. Seoul, Korea, 1997

Articles, a selection:
* 1998. "Structure, Structuration, and Autopoiesis: The Emerging. Significance of Recursive Theory." In: "Current Perspectives in Social Theory" 18 (1998), pp. 131-154
* 2001. "Systems Theory". In: Jonathan Turner (ed.), "Handbook of Sociological Theory"'.
* 2006. "Living systems theory and social entropy theory". In: "Systems Research and Behavioral Science", 22, 291-300.


External links

* [ Website] van Kenneth D. Bailey.
* [ CV] van Bailey.

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