By Noah E. Friedkin
This booklet describes how a community of interpersonal impact can function to shape agreements between folks who occupy diversified positions in a gaggle or association. It provides an account of consensus formation that's particular in its integration of labor from the fields of social psychology and sociology concerned about crew dynamics and social buildings.
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Extra resources for A Structural Theory of Social Influence (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences)
651) But the structural conditions and social processes by which such "cement" is produced and maintained have remained elusive. The burgeoning work on social exchange and rational choice among economists, political scientists, and sociologists has deflected attention away from the mechanisms that form interpersonal agreements. It is evident that exceedingly complex systems of coordinated behavior can rest on the mechanisms of social exchange and rational choice; however, these mechanisms, in turn, rest on interpersonal agreements among actors who are located in different social positions.
Although symbolic interactionists have been the most active investigators of this viewpoint, they are not its only proponents (Wrong 1994, pp. 47-51). However, this interactionist literature on agreement formation has several important limitations. First, it is fuzzy on the precise manner in which a focal actor integrates different interpersonal influences. Many studies in this tradition have concentrated on the development of agreements in dyads and, therefore, do not bear on the question of how multiple sources of conflicting influences are reconciled by an actor.
However, because few posi3 In this approach, interpersonal agreement on a particular issue is less theoretically important than the foundations that have determined the likelihood of such agreement. On a particular issue, actors in different positions may hold the same initial opinion; however, over a spectrum of issues in a particular domain, the probability of identical initial opinions should be associated with the distance between positions. Thus, two actors in distant social positions may have identical initial reactions to an issue; but such an event is unlikely when the distances between social positions correspond to expected differences of opinion.
A Structural Theory of Social Influence (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences) by Noah E. Friedkin