Introduction: Other Conceptions of Generative Mechanisms and Ours

  • Margaret S. ArcherEmail author
Part of the Social Morphogenesis book series (SOCMOR)


This series of books examines a single question: ‘Will Late Modernity be replaced by a social formation that could be called Morphogenic Society?’ Social theorists of different persuasions have accepted that ‘morphogenesis’ has rapidly increased from the last decades of the Twentieth century (and some have presumed this means that processes of ‘morphostasis’ are in proportionate decline). Indeed, this view has been elevated to the status of ‘acceleration theory’ (Rosa 2003; Rosa and Scheuerman 2009), which was seriously critiqued in our last Volume 2014). Fundamentally, the proposition about the possible advent of a (global) Morphogenic Society concerns the transformation of a social formation. It is not synonymous with a tally of amounts or speed of social changes, always supposing the quantum of change could be counted and that ‘speed’ could be measured and be meaningful without reference to directionality. Instead and by definition, any social formation has a particular relational organization between its parts. No metrics putatively gauging the amount of change can capture this form of organization because empiricism necessarily ignores that which crucially differentiates one social formation from another. Yet, that is precisely our concern.


Generative Mechanism Causal Power Social Formation Social Mechanism Relational Organization 
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 International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social Ontology, Department of SociologyUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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