Rational Choice Sociology
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Rational Choice Sociology

Essays on Theory, Collective Action and Social Order

Michael Hechter

Rational Choice Sociology shows that despite the scepticism of many sociologist, rational choice theory indeed can account for a variety of non-market outcomes, including those concerning social norms, family dynamics, crime, rebellion, state formation and social order.
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Chapter 4: Group Formation and the Cultural Division of Labour

Michael Hechter


A structural theory of the relationship between class and status group formation is presented. The approach postulates, first, that differences in the solidarity of any objectively defined group are independently determined within by the extent of stratification among these groups and interaction within them. These expectations are confirmed by an analysis of variation in the solidarity of 17 American ethnic groups in 1970. Second, the relative importance of class as against status group divisions in societies as a whole is held to depend upon the degree of hierarchy and segmentation of their respective cultural divisions of labor. Supportive evidence is found in the examination of differences in the strength of class voting among five Australian states in 1964.

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