Individual Actors and Social Systems

  • Frederick L. Bates
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


Ecological fields contain both individual actors and social systems. Because both are defined as elements in ecological fields, there is the need to conceptualize how the two types of systems are related to each other in forming the structure of the field. This need is made more pressing because our culturally derived cognitive systems lead us to assume uncritically that social systems such as groups and organizations are comprised of individual actors and the relationships among them as they interact. Thus, individuals are regarded as the obvious “natural” units from which the structure of social systems are constructed.


Social System Individual Actor Cognitive System Cognitive Structure Social Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick L. Bates
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of GeorgiaAthensGeorgia

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