Contemporary articles citing Zelditch M (1966) Sociological Theorie
status, theories, hierarchy, existing, program, capacities, construction, emergence, further, inequalities
- Simpson, Brent, Robb Willer & Cecilia Ridgeway. 2012. "Status Hierarchies and the Organization of Collective Action." Sociological Theory. 30:3 149-166.
- 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.
- Berger, J, D Willer & M Zelditch. 2005. "Theory Programs and Theoretical Problems." Sociological Theory. 23:2 127-155.
- Some sociologists argue that sociological theory does not grow and the reason why it does not grow is that the discipline lacks a core of highly developed, almost universally accepted, paradigms; even worse, because it is reflexive, its criteria of problem and theory choice are so noncognitive that there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in its future. We do not question that sociology lacks a core of almost universally accepted paradigms, nor that highly developed paradigms may be a sufficient condition of theory growth, but we question both that universal acceptance of them is necessary and that sociology has nothing like them. We argue that theoretical research programs-sets of strategies, sets of interrelated theories embodying these strategies, and empirical models interpreting these theories-are sufficient for theoretical growth. An examination of three theoretical research programs in this article shows that they perform some of the same functions for theory growth as, in Kuhn, are performed by paradigms. Sociology may lack a universally accepted core, but there are theoretical research programs in sociology, and therefore already there is theory growth if it is looked for in the right place. Nor is there any warrant for the view that because its criteria of problem and theory choice are inescapably noncognitive, there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in sociology's future. If that were true, not only would sociology lack paradigms, but also theoretical research programs. We conclude from our study that sociology need not wait on the emergence of a universally accepted core. It is sufficient for the growth of theory that it develops further its existing theoretical research programs and that it encourages the creation of new programs.
- Lucas, JW. 2003. "Theory-testing, Generalization, and the Problem of External Validity." Sociological Theory. 21:3 236-253.
- External validity refers to the generalization of research findings, either from a sample to a larger population or to settings and populations other than those studied. While definitions vary, discussions generally agree that experiments are lower in external validity than other methodological approaches. Further, external validity is widely treated as an issue to be addressed through methodological procedures. When testing theories, all measures are indirect indicators of theoretical constructs, and no methodological procedures taken alone can produce external validity. External validity can be assessed through determining (1) the extent to which empirical measures accurately reflect theoretical constructs, (2) whether the research setting conforms to the scope of the theory under test, (3) our confidence that findings will repeat under identical conditions, (4) whether findings support the theory being tested, and (5) the confirmatory status of the theory under test. In these ways, external validity is foremost a theoretical issue and can only be addressed by an examination of the interplay between theory and methods.
- Berger, J, CL Ridgeway & M Zelditch. 2002. "Construction of Status and Referential Structures." Sociological Theory. 20:2 157-179.
- Beliefs about diverse status characteristics have a common core content of performance capacities and qualities made up of two features: hierarchy (superior/inferior capacities) and role-differentiation (instrumental/expressive qualities). Whatever the status characteristic, its more-valued state tends to be defined as superior and instrumental, and the less-valued state tends to be defined as inferior but expressive. We account for this in terms of the typification of differences in behavioral inequalities and profiles that emerge in task oriented social interaction. Status construction theory argues that new configurations of the states of a nonvalued discriminating characteristic, status values, and status typifications of actors possessing these states arise from a similar process. The theory we present here makes new predictions on the construction and institutionalization of status characteristics and generalized beliefs about the relation of status characteristics to social rewards, called referential structures. This theory, we argue, integrates micro and macro elements in a way that may be applicable to explaining the social construction of cultural objects more generally.
- Berger, J. 2000. "Theory and Formalization: Some Reflections on Experience." Sociological Theory. 18:3 482-489.
- I describe in this paper some of my efforts in developing formal theories of social processes. These include work on models of occupational mobility, on models to describe the emergence of expectations out of performance evaluations, and on the graph theory formulation of the Status Characteristics theory Not all models have been equally significant in developing theory. However, the graph theory formulation has played a central role in the growth of the Expectation States program. It has been involved in the generalization of theories, the integration of theories, and in the construction of highly sensitive tests of theories that would be impossible without the inferential capacities of formalization.