Social Morphogenesis and the Prospects of Morphogenic Society

  • Margaret S. ArcherEmail author


The book discusses ‘social morphogenesis’ within late modernity and the potential of this process to reshape the social order. Contributors are not signatories to a manifesto for a Morphogenic Society but are willing to consider this notion given rapid global change, the current crisis and perceived inadequacies in macroscopic social theory today. The introduction undertakes four tasks. (i) Clarifying the distinction between the Morphogenetic Approach as an explanatory framework and the idea of Morphogenic Society as an inchoate theory; yet to be articulated and not yet advocated. (ii) The synergy intensifying between structure and culture, such that ‘variety generates further variety’, is suggested to foster a new ‘situational logic of Opportunity’, as opposed to the ‘situational logic of Competition’ characterising modernity. (iii) The adequacy of modelling the global system as ‘self-governing’, ‘self-organizing’, or as a ‘relationally contested organization’ is assessed. (iv) Social networks are examined not only as communicative links but also as integrative bonds because the current deficit in social integration may produce social antagonism alone rather than social transformation.


Social morphogenesis Prospects of morphogenic society Situational logic of opportunity Modelling the global system Social networks Social transformation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Ontologie SocialeEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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