Social rationality and weak solidarity: A coevolutionary approach to social order

Siegwart Lindenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


Social order is a phenomenon that is constantly produced and reproduced by processes that prominently include evolved capacities of human beings. This view sharply contrasts with a view in which social order is the result of a Leviathan or the result of shared values produced by the socialization of children. From the perspective suggested here, the central question of the microfoundations of social order concerns these evolved capacities, which may jointly be referred to as "social rationality". Part of social rationality and central to this approach is the dynamics of three overarching goals (mind-sets) in which cognitive and motivational processes are combined: hedonic, gain, and normative goals. An important part of the dynamics of these goals is that they are often in conflict with one another and that their salience changes with changing social circumstances. This also affects self-regulatory capacities. On the micro level, social order can be seen as being governed by the interaction of (macro and micro) social circumstances and the way they affect the changing salience of overarching goals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrder on the edge of chaos
Subtitle of host publicationSocial psychology and the problem of social order
EditorsE.J. Lawler, Thye, J. Yoon
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-107-43397-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015




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