Network Persistence and the Axis of Hierarchy

Network Persistence and the Axis of Hierarchy

How Orderly Stratification Is Implicit in Sticky Struggles

By Steven Rytina

Key Issues in Modern Sociology

“Network Persistence and the Axis of Hierarchy” shows how networks, modestly redefined as a strong, yet imperfect tendency for pairings to recur day after day, that is, stickiness, imply a singular axis of stratification. This is contrary to the nearly universal insistence that stratification is multidimensional. Reanalysis of three central mobility data sets sustains the novel claim.

Hardback, 372 Pages

ISBN:9781785271960

April 2020

£120.00, $195.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

“Network Persistence and the Axis of Hierarchy” reimagines the very nature of social life starting from quite ordinary, even banal considerations, culminating in conclusions that challenge central, universally held tenets. The main argument shows how networks, modestly redefined as a strong, yet imperfect tendency for pairings to recur day after day, that is, stickiness, imply a singular axis of stratification. This is contrary to the nearly universal insistence that stratification is multidimensional. Reanalysis of three central mobility data sets strongly sustains the novel claim. Network concepts provide a supple base for analysis whereby order and regularity are firmly enforced in network neighborhoods by repetitive, often collective, action and mutual regulation but are not necessarily uniform or universal across locales. This provides new takes, often quite radical, on accounts of structure and order by authors such as Bourdieu, Collins and Parsons. The new formulation local rules but not necessarily global rules allows for a plural reality where varied theoretical ideals are possible and could occur but are not inevitable or universal. This tames the otherwise inevitable cacophony of competing foundational accounts whose claims to universality exclude some to much of what is claimed by rivals. Meanwhile, the potential lability of plural possibilities is sharply constrained by the overarching principal axis of stratification which is the joint condition of social life.

Reviews

“This important and highly original text advances a novel interactional understanding of stratification as founded in networks and the ‘stickiness’ of social ties. This ‘minimalist’ account sees stratification sustained in the constraints of interactional social ties and generated by local—not global—rules. Offering a radical alternative to conventional accounts of stratification, Rytina shows that their insights can be understood through key features of interaction/networks with no need to move beyond local networks to the imposed ‘universal’ properties of social systems. This is essential reading for scholars seeking to understand the durability—but also the mutability—of stratification.” —Wendy Bottero, Reader in Sociology, University of Manchester, UK

Author Information

Steven Rytina is retired from McGill University where he was associate professor of sociology. He has also taught at Harvard University and SUNY at Albany. Rytina’s research interests include mathematical sociology, theories of social structure, social networks, and stratification and mobility.

Series

Key Issues in Modern Sociology

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Preface; Chapter One Sticky Struggles: The Unified Pattern of Social Ranks Inherent in Networks; Chapter Two Foundations of Cacophony; Chapter Three Knots of Regularity; Chapter Four Hierarchy: Inevitable but Inevitably Messy; Chapter Five The Inevitable Emergence of Stratification; Chapter Six Scaling Intergenerational Continuity: Is Occupational Inheritance Ascriptive After All?; Chapter Seven Taming the Mobility Table; Chapter Eight Is Occupational Mobility Declining in the United States?; Chapter Nine The Continuum of Class over Time: Deconstructing Imposed Class to Uncover Empirical Classes; Chapter Ten Concluding Reflections; Appendix: Why Robust Attraction Is (Effectively) Inevitable for Mobility Data; Index.

Links

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