Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fractal Social Reality

For too long, social scientists and their sociological theories have offered us the idea that the individual is the source of his/her own society; and hence, fractals though able to explain natural phenomena may not be applicable to human research. Social phenomena may be so complex that the sum of the parts are much more than the whole, that human interactions and meanings are building blocks but also create whole new structures that we call society. That is not true; there are no ‘whole new structures.’
If sociologists take an absolute position regarding society as an entity over and above the individual then Fractal reality is what we experience. Take for instance the fact that we cannot imagine anything beyond what we already know. Aliens look like compositions of what we already know, human constructs whether roads, buildings, computer programs contain pattern, repeating pattern and those patterns are socially constructed. One might say that math is at the helm of our constructs or science better yet; but as far as the sociologist is concerned or should be is that reality with its math and science is only that which we agree upon, including what math is and science is. We can even apply that to fractals, and of course we should because society and social life is a fractal experience. Read Castoriadis or Hofestadter.

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