Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daniel Little — Social embeddedness

The large distinction at issue here is the contrast between rational actor models of the social world, in which the actor makes choices within a thin set of context-independent decision rules, and social actor models, in which the actor is largely driven by a context-defined set of scripts as he/she makes choices. The contrast is sometimes illustrated by contrasting neoclassical economic models of the market with substantivist models along the lines of Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, and it links to the debate in economic anthropology between formalists and substantivists.
Read it at Understanding Society
Social embeddedness
by Daniel Little | Chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Professor of Philosophy at UM-Dearborn, and faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research and the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan

1 comment:

jrbarch said...

The key concept is that of the 'actor'. Actors may act on any combination of any of Daniel's identified parameters, atomistic-ally or integrated. However an actor is someone who knows they are in a play. The play happens in the minds of the actors. If the play becomes 'real', the real existence of the actors is 'lost'. Actually - just forgotten. The actors will then search for something that has never been lost. That is when the play that could have been fun, becomes tragedy.