ssrn-id1360650

ssrn-id1360650 - K 37,7 850 INVITED PAPER Toward a formal...

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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1360650 INVITED PAPER Toward a formal theory of socioculture A yin-yang information-based theory of social change M. Yolles School of Business Information, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK B.R. Frieden Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, and G. Kemp Lentz Foundation, Hest Bank, Lancaster, UK Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to initiate a new, formal theory of sociocultural physics. Design/methodology/approach – Its intended scope is limited to predicting either long-term, large-scale or short-term, small-scale sociocultural events. The theory that the authors develop, called sociohistory, links three independent but relatable approaches: part of Sorokin’s epistemological theory of sociocultural dynamics, Frieden’s epistemological theory of extreme physical information (EPI), and Yolles’s social viable systems (SVS) theory. Findings – Although not all of Sorokin’s ideas are universally accepted, a subset of them is found to be extremely useful for describing the conceptual context of complex systems. This includes how sociocultural processes link closely into political processes. Research limitations/implications – The theory that develops helps explain how opposing, cultural enantiomers or yin-yang forces (represented, for instance, by the polar mindsets represented in Islamic fundamentalism and global enterprise) can result in violent con±ict, or in either viable or non-viable social communities. The informations I and J of EPI theory are regarded, respectively, as sensate and ideational enantiomers. Originality/value – While the resulting sociocultural physics is in its infancy, an illustrative application to the developmental dynamics of post-colonial Iran demonstrates its potential utility. Keywords Cybernetics, Physics, Social structure Paper type Research paper 1. Introduction In this section, we shall posit some of the notions that are essential to underpin any attempt to create a formal theory of socioculture that some people may refer to as sociocultural physics. The problem with this title is that physics is a logical and phenomenal/material exploration, and does not incorporate notions of consciousness. In exploring socioculture we shall explore the background ideas that facilitate sociocultural physics, and then move onto notions of sociohistory and psychohistory that will refer to our approach. We shall then look at some of the ideas that are relevant K 37,7 850 Kybernetes Vol. 37 No. 7, 2008 pp. 850-909
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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1360650 to exploring sociocultural dynamics as past and future history. Beyond this we shall deFne and then set up the formal basis for our approach. This basis will be constituted through logical and mathematical formulations for sociohistory. ±inally, we shall summarize and re²ect on what we have attempted to develop.
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ssrn-id1360650 - K 37,7 850 INVITED PAPER Toward a formal...

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