Contemporary articles citing Black D (1976) Behav Law
general, explain, here, distance, why, location, direction, much, second, history
- Abrutyn, Seth. 2009. "Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy." Sociological Theory. 27:4 449-465.
- Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, ``outside in'' perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the ``inside out,'' or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the ``new institutionalism'' to fill in this gap, a closer look at the literature will uncover the fact that (1) it has tended to conflate macro-level institutions and meso-level organizations and (2) this has led to a taken for granted approach to institutional dynamics. This article seeks to develop a general theory of institutional autonomy; autonomy is a function of the degree to which specialized corporate units are structurally and symbolically independent of other corporate units. It is argued herein that the process by which these ``institutional entrepreneurs'' become independent can explain how institutions become differentiated from the ``inside out.'' Moreover, this article offers five dimensions that can be operationalized, measuring the degree to which institutions are autonomous.
- Campbell, Bradley. 2009. "Genocide as Social Control." Sociological Theory. 27:2 150-172.
- Genocide is defined here as organized and unilateral mass killing on the basis of ethnicity. While some have focused on genocide as a type of deviance, most genocide is also social control-a response to behavior itself defined as deviant. As such, it can be explained as a part of a general theory of social control. Black's (1998) theories of social control explain the handling of conflicts with their social geometry-that is, with the social characteristics of those involved in the conflict. Here, Blackian theories of social control are extended to specify the social geometry of genocide as follows: genocide varies directly with immobility, cultural distance, relational distance, functional independence, and inequality; and it is greater in a downward direction than in an upward or lateral direction. This theory of genocide can be applied to numerous genocides throughout history, and it is capable of ordering much of the known variation in genocide-such as when and where it occurs, how severe it is, and who participates.
- Erikson, Emily & Joseph Parent. 2007. "Central Authority and Order." Sociological Theory. 25:3 245-267.
- Strong central authorities are able to effectively manage costly defection, but are unable to adequately address lesser conflicts because of limits to their ability to monitor and enforce. We argue, counterintuitively, that these limitations build cooperation and trust among subordinates: the limitations contribute to the production of order. First, limits to authority leave space for locally informed decentralized enforcement. Second, central authorities act as powerful but incompetent third parties whose threatened interventions increase incentives to cooperate and, therefore, to trust. We outline the mechanisms by which a strong central authority enforces order and test their utility by considering the secondary literature on rates of conflict in strong, weak, and capricious states. We supplement this evidence, based on association, with a close examination of diverse case studies: baseball umpires, commercial contracts, and domestic disputes. By analyzing these case studies, we isolate and describe the mechanisms by which central authorities produce order in varied settings. We find that central authority may be effective, but the majority of this effectiveness derives from an indirect influence on dyadic relations rather than direct intervention. The state interacts with local communities, but each operates according to distinct logics. The particular character of their interaction produces four mechanisms useful in the production of order. We briefly explore implications for the operation of law as well as the production of generalized trust. For it turned out that great acts of authority were so clumsy that experience itself has made known that only goodness of government brings prosperity.
- Einolf, Christopher. 2007. "The Fall and Rise of Torture: a Comparative and Historical Analysis." Sociological Theory. 25:2 101-121.
- Torture was formally abolished by European governments in the 19th century, and the actual practice of torture decreased as well during that period. In the 20th century, however, torture became much more common. None of the theories that explain the reduction of torture in the 19th century can explain its resurgence in the 20th. This article argues that the use of torture follows the same patterns in contemporary times as it has in earlier historical periods. Torture is most commonly used against people who are not full members of a society, such as slaves, foreigners, prisoners of war, and members of racial, ethnic, and religious outsider groups. Torture is used less often against citizens, and is only used in cases of extremely serious crimes, such as treason. Two general 20th-century historical trends have caused torture to become more common. First, an increase in the number and severity of wars has caused an increase of torture against enemy guerrillas and partisans, prisoners of war, and conquered civilian populations. Second, changes in the nature of sovereignty have caused an expansion in the definition of acts constituting treason.
- Black, D. 2004. "The Geometry of Terrorism." Sociological Theory. 22:1 14-25.
- Terrorism in its purest form is self-help by organized civilians who covertly inflict mass violence on other civilians. Pure sociology explains terrorism with its social geometry-its multidimensional location and direction in social space. Here I build on the work of Senechal de la Roche (1996) and propose the following geometrical model: Pure terrorism arises intercollectively and upwardly across long distances in multidimensional space. Yet because social distance historically corresponded to physical distance, terrorism often lacked the physical geometry necessary for its occurrence: physical closeness to civilians socially distant enough to attract terrorism. New technology has made physical distance increasingly irrelevant, however, and terrorism has proliferated. But technology also shrinks the social universe and sows the seeds of terrorism's destruction.
- Michalski, JH. 2003. "Financial Altruism or Unilateral Resource Exchanges? - Toward a Pure Sociology of Welfare." Sociological Theory. 21:4 341-358.
- Questions concerning the essential nature of altruism, the existence of an altruistic personality, and the genetic, biosocial, and social psychological bases of altruistic behavior have dominated theory and research on the topic. The current paper reconceptualizes financial altruism sociologically as a form of unilateral resource exchanges, or welfare. The alternative definition employs Donald Black's (1979, 2000) analytic approach to describe and explain the behavior of welfare with its location and direction in social space. The paper offers several propositions that purport to explain variations in welfare by drawing upon cross-cultural research. In general, welfare flows in the direction of those who are less integrated and who have lower social status. In addition, welfare varies directly with intimacy, conventionality, and respectability. Finally, welfare varies inversely with relational distance, cultural distance, and group size. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of strengths and limitations of the general propositions advanced.
- Roche, RS. 2001. "Why Is Collective Violence Collective?." Sociological Theory. 19:2 126-144.
- A theory of collective violence must explain both why it is collective and why it is violent. Whereas my earlier work addresses the question of why collective violence is violent, here I apply and extend Donald Black's theory of partisanship to the question of why violence collectivizes. I propose in general that the collectivization of violence is a direct function of strong partisanship. Strong partisanship arises when third parries (1) support one side against the other and (2) are solidary among themselves. Such support occurs when third parties are socially close to one side and remote from the ther and when one side has more social status than the other Third parries are solidary M-hen they are intimate, culturally homogeneous. and interdependent. I focus in particular on lynching: Lynching is a joint function of strong partisanship toward the alleged victim and weak partisanship toward the alleged offender. Unequal strong partisanship appears in both classic lynchings (of outsiders) and communal lynchings (of insiders) across societies and history. Where partisanship is weak or strong on both sides, lynching is unlikely to occur. Evidence includes patterns of lynching in various tribal societies. the American South, imperial China, and medieval Europe.
- Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23.
- Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.
- Fuchs, S. 2001. "Beyond Agency." Sociological Theory. 19:1 24-40.
- The reason why agency/structure and micro/macro debates remain unresolved is the bad essentialist habit of treating such pairs as opposite natural kinds. Once variation is allowed, agency and structure. or micro and macro, are temporal? poles bracketing a continuum. with serial entities moving along this continuum over time. Explaining these transformations from agency into structure, or micro into macro. and vice versa is the challenge for explanatory theory. This challenge is met by switching to a constructivist level of second-order observing. Then, agency and structure become variable devices or frames different observers might use to perform different sorts of cultural work.
- Black, D. 2000. "Dreams of Pure Sociology." Sociological Theory. 18:3 343-367.
- Unlike older sciences such as physics and biology, sociology has never had a revolution. Modern sociology is still classical-largely psychological, teleological, and individualistic-and evert less scientific than classical sociology. But pure sociology is different: It predicts and explains the behavior of social life with its location and direction in social space-its geometry. Here I illustrate pure sociology with formulations about the behavior of ideas, ideas, including a theory of scienticity that predicts and explains the degree to which an idea is likely to be scientific (testable, general, simple, valid, and original). For example: Scienticity is a curvilinear function of social distance from the subject. This formulation explains numerous facts about the history and practice of science, such as why some sciences evolved earlier and faster than others and why so much sociology is so unscientific. Because scientific theory is the most scientific science, the theory of scienticity also implies a theory of theory and a methodology far the development of theory.