Peter Hedström

Peter Hedström
Linköping University | LiU · Institute for Analytical Sociology

PhD

About

49
Publications
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5,879
Citations

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
The segregation of labor markets along ethnic and gender lines is socially highly consequential, and the social science literature has long viewed homophily and network-based job recruitments as some of its most crucial drivers. Here, we focus on a previously unidentified mechanism, the Trojan-horse mechanism, which, in contradiction to the main te...
Article
Full-text available
Superlinear growth in cities has been explained as an emergent consequence of increased social interactions in dense urban environments. Using geocoded microdata from Swedish population registers, we remove population composition effects from the scaling relation of wage income to test how much of the previously reported superlinear scaling is trul...
Article
Full-text available
Analytical sociology focuses on social interactions among individuals and the hard-to-predict aggregate outcomes they bring about. It seeks to identify generalizable mechanisms giving rise to emergent properties of social systems which, in turn, feed back on individual decision-making. This research program benefits from computational tools such as...
Chapter
This article locates analytic sociology in the Mertonian tradition of middle-range theory, which focuses on partial explanation of phenomena observed in different social domains through identification of core causal mechanisms. Robert K. Merton was one of the most important figures in twentieth-century sociology. He wrote on a wide range of topics,...
Book
This book explores analytical sociology as an approach for explaining important social facts such as network structures, patterns of residential segregation, typical beliefs, and cultural tastes. It brings together some of the most prominent analytical sociologists in Europe and the United States in an effort to clarify the distinctive features of...
Article
Full-text available
We outline the guiding ideas behind mechanisms-based theorizing in analytical sociology as a fruitful alternative to economics-inspired research on identification of causal effects, and discuss the potential of mechanisms-based theorizing for further development in organization and innovation studies. We discuss the realist stance on providing broa...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely recognized that segregation processes are often the result of complex nonlinear dynamics. Empirical analyses of complex dynamics are however rare, because there is a lack of appropriate empirical modeling techniques that are capable of capturing complex patterns and nonlinearities. At the same time, we know that many social phenomena d...
Article
We study the effects of actors' audience-specific reputations on their levels of success with different audiences in the same field. Extending recent work that has emphasized the presence of multiple audiences with different concerns, we demonstrate that considering audience specificity leads to an improved understanding of reputation effects. Usin...
Chapter
The core idea of analytical sociology is the importance of mechanism-based understanding of social processes. Sociological theories should provide clear and precise accounts of the social mechanisms by which the intentional activities of social agents bring about social phenomena. Theories about social mechanisms can be characterized as theories of...
Chapter
Analytical sociology shares an historical lineage with the sociological rational-choice tradition. However, there are fundamental differences as well. The chapter articulates these differences so that the relation between analytical sociology and rational-choice sociology becomes clearer. It begins by examining what people mean when they talk about...
Article
This study investigates mechanisms of tie formation in an interorganizational network generated by the mobility of employees between organizations. We analyze a data set that contains information on all organizations in the Stockholm metropolitan area between 1990 and 2003. We show that the formation of new ties is contingent upon the direction of...
Article
During the past two decades, social scientists and policy-makers, particularly in the United States, have paid increasing attention to neighborhood-based social interactions. Much of this upsurge in interest can be traced to the writings of William Julius Wilson on the importance of neighborhood characteristics in explaining inner-city social probl...
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During the past decade, social mechanisms and mechanism-based explanations have received considerable attention in the social sciences as well as in the philosophy of science. This article critically reviews the most important philosophical and social science contributions to the mechanism approach. The first part discusses the idea of mechanism-ba...
Chapter
Analytical sociology is a strategy for understanding the social world. It is concerned with explaining important social facts such as network structures, patterns of residential segregation, typical beliefs, cultural tastes, and common ways of acting. It explains such facts not merely by relating them to other social facts, but by detailing in clea...
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This article examines how suicides influence suicide risks of others within two interaction domains: the family and the workplace. A distinction is made between dyad-based social-interaction effects and degree-based exposure effects. A unique database including all individuals who ever lived in Stockholm during the 1990s is analyzed. For about 5.6...
Article
In his highly readable book, Dreams of a Final Theory (1993), the Nobel laureate in physics, Steven Weinberg, discusses the role philosophy has played in the development of physics. When a complex process is decomposed into its constituent components, the type of problem being analyzed will obviously dictate which entities and activities are consid...
Article
Full-text available
This article emphasizes various ways by which the study of mechanisms can make quantitative research more useful for causal inference. It concentrates on three aspects of the role of mechanisms in causal and statistical inference: how an understanding of the mechanisms at work can improve statistical inference by guiding the specification of the st...
Chapter
Rational-choice theorizing has a long tradition within sociology, but has always been controversial and contested. Yet it has influenced the theoretical vocabulary of the discipline at large and has made deep inroads into some important sociological areas such as social movements, social mobility, and religion. Most sociological rational-choice the...
Article
Full-text available
Analytical sociology is a middle-range approach to sociological theorizing which seeks to develop precise and realistic action-based explanations of various social phenomena. At the heart of the analytical approach is the idea that acceptable explanations must detail the mechanisms through which the phenomena to be explained were brought about. In...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Die analytische Soziologie versucht, komplexe soziale Prozesse zu erklären, indem sie diese sorgfältig seziert und den Blick auf die wichtigsten, konstituierenden Aspekte richtet. Erst durch Sezieren und analytisches Abstrahieren lassen sich die entscheidenden Elemente und Mechanismen sozialer Prozesse erkennen und verstehen. Im Fol...
Article
Building on his earlier influential contributions to contemporary debates on social theory, Peter Hedstrom argues for a systematic development of sociological theory so that it has the explanatory power and precision to inform sociological research and understanding--qualities lacking in much of the grand social theorizing currently fashionable.
Article
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Analytical sociology seeks to explain complex social processes by carefully dissecting them and then bringing into focus their most important constituent components. It is through dissection and analytical abstractions that the important cogs and wheels of social processes are made visible and intelligible. By identifying some common features betwe...
Article
This paper is concerned with social interactions and their importance for unemployment. A theoretical model is specified in which the social and psychological costs of unemployment depend upon the unemployment level. The theoretical analysis reveals social multiplier effects, and shows that multiple unemployment equilibria may emerge. Data on all 2...
Article
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In analyzing the spatial diffusion of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, this article introduces the notion of a mesolevel network. A mesolevel network is a social network that differs in three important respects from interpersonal microlevel networks directly linking prior and potential adopters of a practice to one another: (1) it is generated...
Book
The advancement of social theory requires an analytical approach that systematically seeks to explicate the social mechanisms that generate and explain observed associations between events. These essays, written by prominent social scientists, advance criticisms of current trends in social theory and suggest alternative approaches. The mechanism ap...
Article
In this article we argue that rational choice theory can play a progressive role in unifying theoretical and empirical work in sociology. The basis of rational choice theorizing is outlined, and it is argued that important ideas of Karl Popper, Max Weber, and Robert K. Merton properly belong in this tradition. Three elements in rational choice theo...
Article
In this article it is argued that the search for 'social mechanisms' is of crucial importance for the development of sociological theory. With this concept - which is occasionally used in the sociological literature but has received little systematic attention - attention is called to an intermediary level of analysis in-between pure description an...
Article
This is the first comprehensive critical evaluation of the use of rational choice theory in political science. Writing in an accessible and nontechnical style, Donald P. Green and Ian Shapiro assess rational choice theory where it is reputed to be most successful: the study of collective action, the behavior of political parties and politicians, an...
Article
This article analyzes factors that influence the attainment of organizational rank in Swedish manufacturing industry. It is argued that competition for promotions is highly localized and largely restricted to the insiders of organizations. As a consequence, the attainment process is likely to be idiosyncratic and strongly influenced by the particul...
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This article analyzes how distances and relations between actors are likely to influence the growth and spread of social movements. A formal theoretical model is developed that extends previous work on threshold models of collective behavior. Spatial distribution of a population influences the networks that are likely to emerge within the populatio...
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Full-text available
In this paper a theory of the earnings attainment process is formalized. This theory conceives of the attainment process as being governed by vacancy chains in hierarchically structured organizations. Predictions deduced from the theory are tested with data on attainment processes within some 5,600 Swedish manufacturing establishments. The empirica...
Article
This article analyzes earnings distribution within organizations. A formal model specifies mechanisms through which the hierarchical structure of organizations is likely to influence the extent of earnings dispersion. The predictions derived from the model are confronted with data on the pay structure and formal organizational structure of 5,600 Sw...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University, 1987. Includes bibliographical references.
Article
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This research note describes the distribution of family income in seven industrial nations, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study. Significant differences between the countries are identified. A ‘poverty cycle’ of the type identified by Rowntree still describes the distribution of income over age groups, but it is neither strong nor universal...
Article
A centralized neo-corporatist bargaining system between leading representatives of trade unions, employer confederations, and the state has been established in Sweden. In this essay, an explanation of this phenomenon is offered which emphasizes the strategic behavior of the actors involved. The growth of the public sector, the improved potential fo...

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