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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 228
Title: Application Of Complexity Science To The Study Of Social Systems
Lead Author: Katerndahl, David A
Abstract: To avoid the pitfalls inherent in the current reductionist approach to understanding of social systems, we advocate applying complexity science approaches to studying social systems. Social systems consist of multiple, diverse agents dynamically interacting on multiple levels in which positive and negative feedback produces circular causation extending from the molecular and cellular levels to that of the dyad, household, and community. Fundamental understanding of complex social phenomena cannot be obtain through the piecemeal application of static, uni-scalar, linear approaches; they must be viewed and studied as complex adaptive systems. To date, most research on complex social phenomena either limit their focus to a particular level within the multi-level reality or take a static view of the phenomenon. Such research would need to be multidisciplinary and involve novel multimethod and analytic approaches. What is needed is an initiative which, not only supports the development of a common lexicon across disciplines and the diffusion of novel analytic techniques, but supports longitudinal, multi-level study of social systems which specifically measures nonlinearity, identifies attractors and bifurcations, and seeks patterns and interdependencies at work.
PDF: Katerndahl_David_228.pdf

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