Contemporary articles citing Black D (1998) Social Structure Rig
behavior, here, distance, direction, general, history, socially, geometry, explain, location
- 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.
- Ryan, Dan. 2006. "Getting the Word Out: Notes on the Social Organization of Notification." Sociological Theory. 24:3 228-254.
- Even when the timing, sequence, and manner of notification are instrumentally inconsequential, how one conveys information affects the meaning of the telling. This article introduces the concepts of ``notification norms'' and the ``information order,'' showing how the former constrain the behavior of nodes in social networks as well as enabling manipulation of the relationships that comprise those networks. ``Notification'' is defined as information transmission motivated by role obligations and notification norms as social rules that govern such transmission. These rules produce patterns of information dissemination different from what individual volition would yield and from what technology makes possible. The capacity to wield a socially sanctioned repertoire of notification rules is a learned competence. Competent notifiers must also understand the local epistemological ecology-the distribution and trajectory of information, as well as the projects, concerns, and priorities of one's fellows. This study of notification introduces the broader concept of ``the information order'' and is a first step in the project of a sociology of information.
- Roche, RS. 2004. "Toward a Scientific Theory of Terrorism." Sociological Theory. 22:1 1-4.
- 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.
- Collins, R. 2004. "Rituals of Solidarity and Security in the Wake of Terrorist Attack." Sociological Theory. 22:1 53-87.
- Conflict produces group solidarity in four phases: (1) an initial few days of shock and idiosyncratic individual reactions to attack; (2) one to two weeks of establishing standardized displays of solidarity symbols; (3) two to three months of high solidarity plateau; and (4) gradual decline toward normalcy in six to nine months. Solidarity is not uniform but is clustered in local groups supporting each other's symbolic behavior. Actual solidarity behaviors are performed by minorities of the population, while vague verbal claims to performance are made by large majorities. Commemorative rituals intermittently revive high emotional peaks; participants become ranked according to their closeness to a center of ritual attention. Events, places, and organizations claim importance by associating themselves with national solidarity rituals and especially by surrounding themselves with pragmatically ineffective security ritual. Conflicts arise over access to centers of ritual attention; clashes occur between pragmatists deritualizing security and security zealots attempting to keep up the level of emotional intensity. The solidarity plateau is also a hysteria zone; as a center of emotional attention, it attracts ancillary attacks unrelated to the original terrorists as well as alarms and hoaxes. In particular historical circumstances, it becomes a period of atrocities.
- 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.
- 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.