Individual Interest and the Future "We" Want: Rational Choice Mechanisms of Modernity and Anti-Modernity

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 27 (Main Building)
RC45 Rational Choice (host committee)

Language: English

The ISA Forum is situated under the general theme “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World” in a time when many struggles are perceived as not really leading to a “better” world. In acknowledging individual choice and its reasons, Rational Choice Sociology (RCS) has always been well aware of the problems of forming and achieving conceptions of global improvement. 
However, in studying resources as significant determinants of action, intertemporal accumulation as individual improvement strategy, and institutions and social capital as forms in which improvement strategies achieve validity in human interaction, RCS is at the same time well acknowledging the processes of global growth and modernization over the last centuries. The precise mechanisms of modernization processes, however, are not yet understood. 
Following Aakvaag’s plea (Acta Sociologica, 2013), the session invites contributions that study social mechanisms to explain processes fostering, differentiating, retaining, or reversing modernization processes. We invite both theoretical and empirical contributions that contribute generally to the topic of the session and especially to the following questions: 

  • Can mechanisms of individual interaction be described that lead to processes: of modernization or aspects of modernization as rationalization, differentiation or the change from domination to deliberation?; that differentiate modernization into multiple forms of modernity?; that retard or reverse modernities, and if so, what conditions distinguish whether these are permanent or transitory? 
  • Can such mechanisms be made subject to empirical examination? 
  • How does the development of RCS add to describing such processes?
Session Organizer:
Hanno SCHOLTZ, University of Konstanz, Germany
Social Capital and Rational Choice in a Non Political Association
Rene MILLAN, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM, Mexico; Rosario ESTEINOU, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social, Mexico
An Alternative to Reputation Mechanism in Modern Society: Case Study and Game-Theoretic Analysis on Labor Unions
Shinya OBAYASHI, University of Tokyo, Japan; Michihiro KANDORI, University of Tokyo, Japan
James March's Technology of Foolishness (Moving toward a Playful Civilization?)
Margarita KALASHNIKOVA, St. Tikhon's Orthodox University, Russia
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