rational choice bleg

Question for the weekend: I am searching for an example of a theory or empirical work that combines rational choice theory with some other style of social theory. A few candidates:

  • Analytical Marxism
  • Michael Chwe’s theory of ritual and interaction
  • A friend recommended Anthony Giddens’ structuration, as it has goal oriented actors who behave in endogenously created social structures

Other suggestions? Bonuses for recent work, work that is empirical, or accessible to general educated readers.

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Written by fabiorojas

March 20, 2015 at 12:01 am

Posted in fabio, just theory

6 Responses

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  1. From a quant, good luck with this.



    March 20, 2015 at 12:54 am

  2. Might not be what you’re after, but Kiser and Hechter’s critique of comparative historical sociology or Michael Taylor’s rational choice gloss on theories of revolution are worth considering n



    March 20, 2015 at 4:26 am

  3. I’m not sure if this is what you had in mind (none of the following are as grand as your examples), but here is a recent empirical piece that finds simultaneous support for rat choice and neo-institutionalism in sociology of religion:

    Wilde, Melissa J., Kristin Geraty, Shelley Nelson and Emily Bowman. 2010. “Religious Economy or Organizational Field? Predicting Bishops’ Votes at the Second Vatican Council.” American Sociological Review. 75(4): 586-606.

    And here is a theoretical piece that combines ethnography (Tally’s Corner), rational choice theory, structural equations, and psychological theories of cognitive dissonance into one of the neatest little sociological papers I’ve read:

    Montgomery, James D. “Revisting Tally’s Corner: Mainstream Norms, Cognitive Dissonance, and Underclass Behavior”. 1994. Rationality and Society. 6(4): 462-488.

    And I think this isn’t at all what you had in mind, since it’s about rational choice and a methodology rather than another sort of theory, but Kanchan Chandra’s “Mechanisms vs. Outcomes” from a symposium called “Ethnography Meets Rational Choice: David Laitin, For Example” published in the “Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized Section on Qualitative Methods” has to be the single best piece of social science ever published in a section newsletter. In a way, it’s rational choice meets analytical sociology. But only in a way. (starts on page 6; helps if you know David Laitin’s work, but it’s not necessary)



    March 20, 2015 at 6:00 am

  4. GNW

    March 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

  5. Ivan Ermakoff’s “Ruling Onself Out. A Theory of Collective Abdications” combines rational choice theory with other theoretical traditions, including phenomenology and theories of collective action, in the context of comparative historical analysis.



    March 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

  6. Analytic history a la Avner Greif?



    March 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

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