Micro-Macro Transitions in Rational Choice Explanations

Analyse & Kritik 14 (2):143-151 (1992)
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The rational choice approach focuses on explaining macrosocial phenomena or relationships by applying a theory about the behavior of individual actors. This paper addresses James S. Coleman’s account of micro-macro transitions involved in rational choice explanations. The starting point of this account is a macro-relationship. Its independent variable has a causal effect on the independent variable of a micro-relationship. The dependent variable of this relationship in turn influences the dependent variable of the macro-relationship (see Figure 1 of this paper). The paper extends this account by delineating other types of micro-macro explanations and discusses some of its problems.



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