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The Sociology of Disruption, Disaster and Social Change
Punctuated Cooperation

$119.00 (C)

  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107032149

$ 119.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • In the wake of disruption and disaster, cooperation among members of a collective is refocused on matters of status, membership and the formation of coalitions. In an important contribution to sociological theory, Hendrik Vollmer emphasizes the processes through which disruptions not only affect, but also transform social order. Drawing on Erving Goffman's understanding of framing and the interaction order, as well as from a range of insights from contemporary sociological theory and ethnographic, historical and organizational research, Vollmer addresses the dynamics of disaster and disaster response within the framework of a general theory of disruption and social order. It is proposed that the adjustment of cooperation in favour of coalition-forming strategies is robust in both informal and organized social settings and transcends the 'micro' and 'macro' approaches currently favoured by theorists. Offering a systematic sociological analysis of the impact of disruptiveness, this book investigates how punctuated cooperation precipitates social change.

    • Proposes a systematic sociological understanding of the impact of disruption and disaster on social structures and processes
    • Discusses the effect of various types of disruptiveness from embarrassment and stress to organizational failure, disaster and warfare
    • Investigates distinct mechanisms through which social change is triggered by disruptiveness
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is sociological theory at its best: insightful, rigorous and readable.  Vollmer does not merely draw our attention to the importance of disruption and repair, demonstrating that rules are constituted by exceptions, and not the other way around, but teases out regularities in the processes by which social order emerges and then is realized to have disappeared.  Required reading." -John Levi Martin, University of Chicago, and author of The Explanation of Social Action

    "A highly original approach to the often unnoticed 'bottom-up' mechanisms of social change. The range of applications includes organizational stress, disasters and warfare." -Uwe Schimank, University of Bremen

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107032149
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Confronting disruptions: the nexus of social situations
    2. Framing situations, responding to disruptions
    3. The social order of punctuated cooperation
    4. Organizational stress, failure and succession
    5. Violence and warfare
    6. Elaborating the theory.

  • Author

    Hendrik Vollmer, Universität Bielefeld, Germany
    Hendrik Vollmer is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Universität Bielefeld, Germany. He is the Managing Editor of the Zeitschrift für Soziologie (ZfS), one of Europe's leading sociological journals, and the author of numerous articles in sociological and organizational theory.

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