Mathematical sociology as a common language: Toward scientific understanding of social architecture

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There are two types of mathematical model in sociological study i.e. "Phenomenon Explanation Model" (= PEM) and "Social Architecture Understanding Model" (= SAUM). PEM aims to explain data of specific social phenomenon by describing the phenomenon as a mechanism. SAUM aims to understand part of social architecture as a mechanism, where the architecture is more abstract, extensive and lasting social phenomenon. Although the relation of PEM and SAUM is mutually complemented, some researchers avoid SAUM because they think it to be not grounded. But first, SAUM makes us understand society more deeply by discovering part of unobserved social architecture. Second, because of the understanding, SAUM contributes to our society through reconstructing it toward better directions. Therefore SAUM has the value of discovering and the value of ethic. In addition empirical rightness of the understanding is supported by the fact that "normative propositions" SAUM produced give us some kind of obligations. Normative propositions avoid SAUM being armchair theory. SAUMs are open to extensive interests and various uses because SAUMs clear mechanisms of social architecture that are more universal than mechanisms of specific phenomena. Then SAUMs have common language property. And Mathematics is probably a unique common language bridging various academic disciplines. Therefore the two common language properties make SAUMs worth exploring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Meaning
  • Normative proposition
  • Situation
  • Unobserved social architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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