Identities Seek Control

This is the first chapter of Harrison White’s book, Identity and Control. In this completely revised second edition of one of the foundational texts of network sociology, Harrison White refines and enlarges his groundbreaking theory of how social structure and culture emerge from the chaos and uncertainty of social life. White and his co-authors discuss the social world, including “persons,” as emerging from patterns of relationships. They argues that it is a default human heuristic to organize the world in terms of attributes, but that this can often be a mistake. Going beyond traditional sociological dichotomies such as agency/structure, individual/society, or micro/macro, Identity and Control presents a toolbox of concepts that will be useful to a wide range of social scientists, as well as those working in public policy, management, or associational life and, beyond, to any reader who is interested in understanding the dynamics of social life.

Released: Replika 75, 43–63.
Krisztina Németh