Contemporary articles citing Olson M (1965) Logic Collective Act

public, action, collective, groups, sociological, critical, second, dynamics, change, theories

Simpson, Brent, Robb Willer & Cecilia Ridgeway. 2012. "Status Hierarchies and the Organization of Collective Action." Sociological Theory. 30:3 149-166. Link
Most work on collective action assumes that group members are undifferentiated by status, or standing, in the group. Yet such undifferentiated groups are rare, if they exist at all. Here we extend an existing sociological research program to address how extant status hierarchies help organize collective actions by coordinating how much and when group members should contribute to group efforts. We outline three theoretically derived predictions of how status hierarchies organize patterns of behavior to produce larger public goods. We review existing evidence relevant to two of the three hypotheses and present results from a preliminary experimental test of the third. Findings are consistent with the model. The tendency of these dynamics to lead status-differentiated groups to produce larger public goods may help explain the ubiquity of hierarchy in groups, despite the often negative effects of status inequalities for many group members.

Fine, Gary. 2010. "The Sociology of the Local: Action and Its Publics." Sociological Theory. 28:4 355-376. Link
Sociology requires a robust theory of how local circumstances create social order. When we analyze social structures not recognizing that they depend on groups with collective pasts and futures that are spatially situated and that are based on personal relations, we avoid a core sociological dimension: the importance of local context in constituting social worlds. Too often this has been the sociological stance, both in micro-sociological studies that examine interaction as untethered from local traditions and in research that treats culture as autonomous from action and choice. Building on theories of action, group dynamics, and micro-cultures, I argue that a sociology of the local solves critical theoretical problems. The local is a stage on which social order gets produced and a lens for understanding how particular forms of action are selected. Treating ethnographic studies as readings of ongoing cultures, I examine how the continuing and referential features of group life (spatial arenas, relations, shared pasts) generate action and argue that local practices provide the basis for cultural extension, influencing societal expectations through the linkages among groups.

De, Cedric, Manali Desai & Cihan Tugal. 2009. "Political Articulation: Parties and the Constitution of Cleavages in the United States, India, and Turkeys." Sociological Theory. 27:3 193-219.
Political parties do not merely reflect social divisions, they actively construct them. While this point has been alluded to in the literature, surprisingly little attempt has been made to systematically elaborate the relationship between parties and the social, which tend to be treated as separate domains contained by the disciplinary division of labor between political science and sociology. This article demonstrates the constructive role of parties in forging critical social blocs in three separate cases, India, Turkey, and the United States, offering a critique of the dominant approach to party politics that tends to underplay the autonomous role of parties in explaining the preferences, social cleavages, or epochal socioeconomic transformations of a given community. Our thesis, drawing on the work of Gramsci, Althusser, and Laclau, is that parties perform crucial articulating functions in the creation and reproduction of social cleavages. Our comparative analysis of the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States, Islamic and secularist parties in Turkey, and the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress parties in India will demonstrate how ``political articulation'' has naturalized class, ethnic, religious, and racial formations as a basis of social division and hegemony. Our conclusion is that the process of articulation must be brought to the center of political sociology, simultaneously encompassing the study of social movements and structural change, which have constituted the orienting poles of the discipline.

Fine, GA & B Harrington. 2004. "Tiny Publics: Small Groups and Civil Society." Sociological Theory. 22:3 341-356. Link
It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation.

Corra, M & D Willer. 2002. "The Gatekeeper." Sociological Theory. 20:2 180-207. Link

Oliver, PE & G Marwell. 2001. "Whatever Happened to Critical Mass Theory? a Retrospective and Assessment." Sociological Theory. 19:3 292-311. Link
Between 1983 and 1993 the authors published a series of articles and a book promulgating and explicating ``Critical Mass Theory,'' a theory of public goods provision in groups. In this article we seek to trace the growth, change, or decline of the theory, primarily through an analysis of all journal citations of the theory. We find that the majority of citations are essentially gratuitous or pick a single point from the theory, which may or may not be central to the theory. However, we identify four lines of theorizing that creatively use substantial parts of Critical Mass Theory in their own development: (1) theories relevant to issues in communication studies such as interaction media and shared databases; (2) Macy's work on adaptive learning models; (3) Heckathorn's models of sanctioning systems; and (4) theories that are centrally concerned with issues of influence in collective goods processes. A Jew additional, less-developed lines of work are also discussed. None of this work identifies itself as being itself ``Critical Mass Theory, `` but many of the innovations and assertions of the theory are important bases for its development.

Meyer, JW & RL Jepperson. 2000. "The ``actors'' of Modern Society: the Cultural Construction of Social Agency." Sociological Theory. 18:1 100-120. Link
Much social theory takes for gr anted the core conceit of modern culture, chat modern actors-individuals, organizations, nation states-are authochthonous and natural entities, no longer really embedded ill culture. Accordingly while there is much abstract metatheory about ``actors `` and their ``agency, `` there is arguably little theory about the topic. This article offers direct arguments about how the modern (European, now global) cultural system constructs the modern actor as an authorized agent for various interests via an ongoing relocation into society of agency originally located in transcendental authority or in natural forces environing the social system. We see this authorized agentic capability as an essential feature of what modern theory and culture call an ``actor,'' and one that, when analyzed, helps greatly in explaining a number of otherwise anomalous ol little analyzed features of modern individuals, organizations, and slates. These features include their isomorphism and standardization, their internal decoupling, their extraordinarily complex structuration, and their capacity for prolific collective action.

Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332. Link
Recent work by political sociologists and social movement theorists extend our understanding of how religious institutions contribute to expanding democracy, but nearly all analyze religious institutions as institutions; few focus directly on what religion qua religion might contribute. This article strives to illuminate the impact of religious culture per se, extending recent work on religion and democratic life by a small group of social movement scholars trained also in the sociology of religion. In examining religion's democratic impact, an explicitly cultural analysis inspired by the new approach to political culture developed by historical sociologists and cultural analysts of democracy is used to show the power of this approach and to provide a fuller theoretical account of how cultural dynamics shape political outcomes. The article examines religious institutions as generators of religious culture, presents a theoretical model of how religious cultural elements are incorporated into social movements and so shape their internal political cultures, and discusses how this in turn shapes their impact in the public realm. This model is then applied to a key site of democratic struggle: four efforts to promote social justice among low-income urban residents of the United States, including the most widespread such effort-faith-based community organizing.

Beckert, J. 1996. "What Is Sociological About Economic Sociology? Uncertainty and the Embeddedness of Economic Action." Theory and Society. 25:6 803-840. Link

Eliasoph, N. 1997. "`'close to Home'': the Work of Avoiding Politics." Theory and Society. 26:5 605-647. Link

Woolcock, M. 1998. "Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework." Theory and Society. 27:2 151-208. Link

Pfaff, S & G Yang. 2001. "Double-edged Rituals and the Symbolic Resources of Collective Action: Political Commemorations and the Mobilization of Protest in 1989." Theory and Society. 30:4 539-589. Link

Ermakoff, Ivan. 2010. "Theory of Practice, Rational Choice, and Historical Change." Theory and Society. 39:5 527-553. Link
If we are to believe the proponents of the Theory of Practice and of Rational Choice, the gap between these two paradigmatic approaches cannot be bridged. They rely on ontological premises, theories of motivations and causal models that stand too far apart. In this article, I argue that this theoretical antinomy loses much of its edge when we take as objects of sociological investigation processes of historical change, that is, when we try to specify in theoretical terms how and in which conditions historical actors enact and endorse shifts in patterns of relations as well as shifts in the symbolic and cognitive categories that make these relations significant. I substantiate this argument in light of the distinction between two temporalities of historical change: first, the long waves of gradual change and, second, the short waves of moments of breaks and ruptures. Along the way, I develop an argument about the conditions of emergence of self-limiting norms and the centrality of epistemic beliefs in situations of high disruption.

Saylor, Ryan. 2012. "Sources of State Capacity in Latin America: Commodity Booms and State Building Motives in Chile." Theory and Society. 41:3 301-324. Link
The pursuits of private profit and distributional political advantage can be powerful state building motives. This article describes how each motive can trigger a distinct causal sequence amid commodity booms, which can result in the growth of state capacity. First, when pursuing profit during booms, export-oriented actors regularly seek new state-supplied public goods, the provision of which promotes the expansion of state capacity. Second, when booms enrich rivals to the ruling coalition, coalition members may respond with institution building to preserve their existing political advantages. A case study of Chile (1848-1883) and supplementary evidence from Argentina, Central America, Colombia, and Peru indicate that these causal sequences may have been central to state building in Latin America historically.