Body Captors and Network Profiles: A Neo-structural Note on Digitalized Social Control and Morphogenesis

  • Emmanuel LazegaEmail author
Part of the Social Morphogenesis book series (SOCMOR)


Introduction: Social digitalization

Sensors and networks: Technologies of social control reconfiguring late modernity?
  • Marketing fear, fun and social comparisons

  • Cultural acceptance of conditional welfare

  • Hardwired controls undermining bottom up institutional entrepreneurship

  • Consequences at the societal level

Multilevel logic, social mechanisms and morphogenesis
  • Hardwired controls shifting social and synchronization costs “downwards”

  • Towards neo-structural modelling of morphogenetic slippery slopes

Conclusion: The role of markets and the State in facilitating slippery slopes


Physical sensors Social networks Social control Conditional welfare Slippery slope 



I thank Margaret Archer, Julien Brailly, Rannald Sim and Pierre-Paul Vidal for stimulating insights that considerably improved this paper. I am grateful to all the members of the 2014 Workshop for helpful comments.


  1. Archer, M. S. (1979). Social origins of educational systems. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Archer, M. S. (1982). Morphogenesis versus structuration: On combining structure and action. British Journal of Sociology, 35, 455–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Archer, M. S. (1988). Culture and agency: The place of culture in social theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Archer, M. S. (1995). Realist social theory: The morphogenetic approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Archer, M. S. (2012). The reflexive imperative in late modernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Archer, M. S. (Ed.). (2013). ‘Introduction’, Social morphogenesis. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Archer, M. S. (2015). How agency is transformed in the course of social transformation: Don’t forget the double morphogenesis. In M. S. Archer (Ed.), Generative mechanisms transforming the social order. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baker, W. (1992). The network organization in theory and practice. In N. Nohria & R. G. Eccles (Eds.), Networks and organization: Structure, form, and action. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bateman, S., & Gayon, J. (2012). L’amélioration humaine: Trois usages, trois enjeux. Médecine/Sciences, 10(28), 887–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berends, H., Van Burg, E., & van Raaij, E. M. (2011). Contacts and contracts: Cross-level network dynamics in the development of an aircraft material. Organization Science, 22, 940–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brailly, J., & Lazega, E. (2012). Diversité des approches de la modélisation multiniveaux en analyses de réseaux sociaux et organisationnels. Mathématiques et Sciences Humaines, 198, 5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brailly, J., Favre, G., Chatellet, J., & Lazega, E. (forthcoming). From the embeddedness problem to the multilevel problem. Social Networks. Google Scholar
  13. Cheit, R. E., & Gersen, J. E. (2000). When businesses sue each other: An empirical study of state court litigation. Law & Social Inquiry, 25, 789–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, Z., Junshi C., Collins, R., Guo, Y., Peto, R., Wu, F., & Li, L. (2013). China Kadoorie Biobank of 0.5 million people: Survey methods, baseline characteristics and long-term follow-up. International Journal of Epidemiology, Downloaded from by guest on 27 Nov 2013.
  15. Dezalay, Y., & Garth, B. (1996). Dealing in virtue: International commercial arbitration and the construction of a transnational legal order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Donati, P. (1983). Introduzione alla sociologia relazionale. Milan: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  17. Donati, P. (2011). Relational sociology. A new paradigm for the social sciences. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Donati, P. (2013). Morphogenesis and social networks: Relational steering, not mechanical feedback. In M. Archer (Ed.), Social morphogenesis. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Dudouet, F.-X. (2009). La politique internationale des drogues: Histoire du marché légal des stupéfiants. Paris: Editions Syllepse. Preface by Howard S. Becker.Google Scholar
  20. Dunworth, T., & Rogers, J. (1996). Corporations in court, big business litigation in U.S. Federal Courts, 1971-1991. Law & Social Inquiry, 21, 497–592.Google Scholar
  21. Favereau, O., & Lazega, E. (2002). Conventions and structures in economic organization: Markets, networks, and hierarchies. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Foucault, M. (2002). The risks of security. In J. Faubion (Ed.), Michel Foucault: Power, essential works of Foucault 1954–1984 (Vol. 3). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  23. Foucault, M., & Senellart, M. (Eds.). (2008). The birth of biopolitics: Lectures at the College du France 1978–79. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  24. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Sociological Review, 91, 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Granovetter, M. (1994). Business groups. In N. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), Handbook of economic sociology. Princeton: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Hawkins, K. O. (1984). Environment and enforcement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lawson, T. (2013). Emergence and morphogenesis: Causal reduction and downward causation? In M. Archer (Ed.), Social morphogenesis. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Lazega, E. (1992). Micropolitics of knowledge: Communication and indirect control in workgroups. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  29. Lazega, E. (1994). Les conflits d’intérêts dans les cabinets américains d’avocats d’affaires: concurrence et auto-régulation. Sociologie du Travail, 35, 315–336.Google Scholar
  30. Lazega, E. (2000). Rule enforcement among peers: A lateral control regime. Organisation Studies, 21, 193–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lazega, E. (2001). The collegial phenomenon: The social mechanisms of cooperation among peers in a corporate law partnership. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lazega, E. (2003). Rationalité, discipline sociale et structure. Revue Française de Sociologie, 2003(44), 305–330.Google Scholar
  33. Lazega, E. (2006). Capital social, processus sociaux et capacité d’action collective. In A. Bevort & M. Lallement (eds.), Capital social: Echanges, réciprocité, équité (pp. 213–225). Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  34. Lazega, E. (2012). Sociologie néo-structurale. In R. Keucheyan & G. Bronner (Eds.), Introduction à la théorie sociale contemporaine. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar
  35. Lazega, E. (2014). Appropriateness and structure in organizations: Secondary socialization through dynamics of advice networks and weak culture. In D. J. Brass, G. (Joe) Labianca, A. Mehra, D. S. Halgin, & S. P. Borgatti (eds.), Volume on contemporary perspectives on organizational social networks. (Research in the sociology of organizations, 40, pp. 381–402). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.Google Scholar
  36. Lazega, E., & Mounier, L. (2002). Interdependent entrepreneurs and the social discipline of their cooperation: The research program of structural economic sociology for a society of organizations. In O. Favereau & E. Lazega (Eds.), Conventions and structures in economic organization: Markets, networks, and hierarchies (pp. 147–199). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. Lazega, E., & Prieur, C. (2014). Sociologie néo-structurale, disciplines sociales et systèmes complexes. Revue Sciences/Lettres, n° 2.Google Scholar
  38. Lazega, E., Jourda, M., Mounier, L., & Stofer, R. (2008). Catching up with big fish in the big pond? Multi-level network analysis through linked design. Social Networks, 30, 157–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lazega, E., Mounier, L., Snijders, T., & Tubaro, P. (2012). Norms, status and the dynamics of advice networks. Social Networks, 34, 323–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lazega, E., Jourda, M., & Mounier, L. (2013). Network lift from dual alters: Extended opportunity structures from a multilevel and structural perspective. European Sociological Review, 29, 1226–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Leca, B., & Naccache, Ph. (2006). A critical realist approach to institutional entrepreneurship. Organization, 13, 627–651.Google Scholar
  42. Lemercier, C. (2007). The Judge, the Expert and the Arbitrator. The Strange Case of the Paris Court of Commerce (ca. 1800-ca. 1880). In C. H. Rabier (Ed.), Fields of expertise. A comparative history of expert procedures in Paris and London, 1600 to present (pp. 115–145). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  43. Macaulay, S. (1963). Non-contractual relations in business, a preliminary study. American Sociological Review, 28, 55–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Olson, M., Jr. (1965). The logic of collective action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  45. Perrow, C. (1991). A society of organizations. Theory and Society, 20, 725–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Porpora, D. V. (1989). Four concepts of social structure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 19, 195–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Raub, W., & Weesie, J. (1990). Reputation and efficiency in social interactions: An example of network effects. American Journal of Sociology, 96, 626–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Reiss, A. J., Jr. (1984). Selecting strategies of social control over organizational life. In K. O. Hawkins & J. M. Thomas (Eds.), Enforcing regulation. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhof.Google Scholar
  49. Sample, Ian & agencies, ‘Soldier controls bionic arm using power of thought. The Guardian UK (11 Dec, 2013) Accessed 13 Dec 2013
  50. Selznick, P. (1949). TVA and the grass roots: A study in the sociology of formal organization. Berkeley: University of California Press, Conclusion.Google Scholar
  51. Shapiro, S. P. (1984). Wayward capitalists. Target of the securities and exchange commission. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Skloot, R. (2010). The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. Google Scholar
  53. Snijders, T. A. B. (2001). The statistical evaluation of social network dynamics. In M. E. Sobel & M. P. Becker (Eds.), Sociological methodology (pp. 361–395). Boston: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  54. Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. (1999). Multi-level analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Stinchcombe, A. (2001). When formality works. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  56. Strauss, A. (1978). Negotiations: Varieties, contexts, processes and social order. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  57. Tilly, C. (1998). Durable inequalities. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  58. Vaughan, D. (1983). Controlling unlawful organizational behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  59. Wang, P., Robins, G., Pattison, P., & Lazega, E. (2013). Exponential random graph models for multilevel networks. Social Networks, 35, 96–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zelizer, V. (1979). Morals and markets: The development of life insurance in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de Sociologie, Centre de Sociologie des OrganisationsInstitut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations