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Unformatted text preview: RESPONSIBILITY RELATIONSHIP ANALYSIS: Fruits From a Venture in Theory Development
Professor Bernard Finifter Department of Sociology Michigan State University 7 November 2005 How It All Started
High Kohn's anomaly and the discovery of the importance of responsibility relationships. Poland Poland Psychological Distress Japan USA Socio-economic Status Where is Responsibility Studied Systematically? Moral Philosophers Theologians Legal Scholars Criminologists Contributions by Psychologists: Herbert Kelman Barry Schlenker Philip Tetlock Bernard Weiner Contributions by Sociologists: Adam Smith Emile Durkheim Michael Black V. Lee Hamilton Conceptualizing Responsibility Relationships Responsibility relationships as society's connective tissues. The curious lack of attention to responsibility relationships in sociology. Foundation of all responsibility claims, judgments and actions as a comparison between an event and some standard. Standards are socially, culturally, and politically defined and are codified as expectations. Responsibility comes into play when a breach of expectation is recognized. Defining Responsibility Relationships The Polysemic and Janus-faced nature of "responsibility" and the need for conceptual clarification. The heuristic formula: R = f (A, C) Key terms defined Accountability Control The accountability spiral and how and why it is often truncated. Historical and recent examples. NAACP's Merilee Evers' decision not to prosecute graft. Chun DuHwan condemned to death but still living. University of Pennsylvania, Sociology Dept. curtails plagiarism scandal. Spiral of Accountability
Execution of Sentence Passing of sentence if culpable Decision to affirm charges or acquit Suspect an account called Suspect called to give to give account give account Suspect agent identified A breach of expectation is recognized The Exercise of Accountability
Three ranges: Hyponomy Equinomy Hypernomy The guiding general proposition: Consequences of the excessive or deficient exercise of accountability. Key prediction: When accountability is exercised either excessively or inadequately, the group will suffer, sometimes catastrophically. Regions in the Exercise of Accountability
Hyponomy (p<c) Hypernomy (p>c) Hyponomy - Equinomy Equinomy ~= (p ~= c) Hypernomy + + Key Prediction: When accountability is exercised either excessively or inadequately, the group will suffer, sometimes catastrophically. The Theory's Spawn: Six Illustrative Case-Study Applications (by colligation):
1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. Tuskegee syphilis experiments: Failure to halt the experiments and the disastrous consequences for contemporary African-American health. Senator McCarthy witch-hunt and America's escalating involvement in the Vietnam war. NASA's organizational culture and the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Merck's VIOXX on-going trials. Virtual corporations and the ValuJet crash Federal government's stand-offs at Ruby Ridge and Waco and the catastrophic Oklahoma City bombing. Major Institutional Sectors That Share Responsibility for Democracy Federal Government
(Internal checks and balances?) Civil Liberties Organizations (Linking Citizens and Government) State Governors (Quasi-autonomous) Public Opinion (Bedrock of legitimization) The Press ("Fourth Estate," "Watchdog") ...
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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2008 for the course SOC 401 taught by Professor Finifter during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.
- Spring '08