This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
Social Modeling as an Interdisciplinary Research Practice
July/August 2008 (vol. 23 no. 4)
pp. 20-27
Lucy Resnyansky, Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence Division of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia
Social modeling applies computational methods and techniques to the analysis of social processes and human behavior. It's expected to provide conceptual and technological tools for supporting analysis and decision making in areas related to national and public security, political stability, law and order, and sociocultural changes. Modeling social and cultural processes must draw on the knowledge obtained within social sciences, including conceptual models, cultural insights, and empirical data. However, how to best integrate social scientific knowledge into modeling remains an open research problem. The author presents the perspective of a social scientist to describe why modeling can be useful for social research on political violence, social conflicts, and cultural changes. She develops an interactionist approach to interdisciplinary research practice and discusses how this approach can help identify the problems related to the integration of social scientific knowledge in modeling. The discussion focuses upon research on political violence and related sociocultural processes.

1. Threat Anticipation: Social Science Methods and Models, Joint Threat Anticipation Center (JTAC) Workshop, Univ. of Chicago, 2005, http://jtac.uchicago.edu/conferences05.
2. L. Resnyansky, Integration of Social Sciences in Terrorism Modeling: Issues, Problems and Recommendations, tech. report DSTO-TR-1955, (U), Commonwealth of Australia, 2007, www.dsto.defence.gov.au/publications/5099 DSTO-TR-1955.pdf.
3. G.P. Shchedrovitsky, Izbrannye trudy [Selected Works], Shkola Kulturnoi Politiki, Moscow, 1995 (in Russian).
4. G.P. Shchedrovitsky, Methodological Organization of System-Structural Research and Development: Principles and General Framework, 2005–2007, www.fondgp.ru/lib/int5.
5. G.P. Shchedrovitsky, Methodological Problems of System Research, 2005–2007; www.fondgp.ru/lib/int5.
6. V. Dubrovsky, "Toward System Principles: General System Theory and the Alternative Approach," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol. 21, no. 2, 2004, pp. 109–122.
7. F. Morozov, "Three Issues in the Work of G. Shchedrovitsky," Social Sciences: A Quarterly J. Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 35, no. 4, 2004, http://v2.circle.ru/archive/ing/3print.
8. E. Goffman, Strategic Interaction, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1969.
9. H. Garfinkel, Studies in Ethnomethodology, Prentice-Hall, 1967.
10. R.K. Merton, The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1973.
11. K. Knorr Cetina, The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science, Pergamon Press, 1981.
12. M. Foucault, The Order of Things, Random House, 1966.
13. W.E. Bijker, T. Pinch, and T. Hughes, The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, MIT Press, 1987.
14. N.A. Van House, "Science and Technology Studies and Information Studies," Ann. Rev. Information Science and Technology, vol. 38, B. Cronin, ed., Information Today, 2003, pp. 3–86.
15. L. Resnyansky, "Computer-Mediated Communication in Higher Education: Educators' Agency in Relation to Technology," J. Educational Enquiry, vol. 3, no. 1, 2002, pp. 35–59.
16. L. Resnyansky, "Conceptualisation of Terrorism in Modeling Tools: Critical Reflexive Approach," Prometheus, vol. 24, no. 4, 2006, pp. 441–447.
17. A Silke, "An Introduction to Terrorism Research," Research on Terrorism: Trends, Achievements &Failures, A. Silke, ed., Frank Cass, 2004, pp. 1–29.
18. A.K. Cronin, "Sources of Contemporary Terrorism," Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy, A.K. Cronin and J.M. Ludes, eds., Georgetown Univ. Press, 2004, pp. 19–45.
19. A.P. Schmid, "Framework for Conceptualising Terrorism," Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 16, no. 2, 2004, pp. 197–221.
20. L. Weinberg, A. Pedahzur, and S. Hirsch-Hoefler, "The Challenges of Conceptualizing Terrorism," Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 16, no. 4, 2004, pp. 777–794.
21. J. Horgan, The Psychology of Terrorism, Routledge, 2005, p. 25.
22. M. Castells, The Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol. 2, Blackwell, 1997.
23. T.S. Szayna, ed., Identifying Potential Ethnic Conflict: Application of a Process Model, Rand, 2000.
24. A.V. Cicourel, Cognitive Sociology: Language and Meaning in Social Interaction, Penguin, 1973.
25. J. Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action, vol. 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Beacon, 1987.
26. T. Parsons, The Social System, Routledge &K. Paul, 1951.
27. G. Kepel, The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West, Belknap Press, 2004, pp. 245–246.
28. A. Scott, "A Failure of Imagination (Intelligence, WMDs, and 'Virtual Jihad')," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 29, 2006, pp. 285–300.
29. W. Lacquer, No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, Continuum, 2003.
30. S.P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Simon &Schuster, 1997.
31. S. Szreter, H. Sholkamy, and A. Dharmalingam, eds., Categories and Contexts: Anthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography, Oxford Univ. Press, 2004.
32. M.C. Clarke, "Terrorism, Engineering and the Environment: Their Interrelationships," Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 16, no. 2, 2004, pp. 294–304.
33. D. Gambetta and S. Hertog, "Engineers of Jihad," Oxford Dept. Sociology Working Papers, 2007, www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/users/gambettaEngineers%20of%20Jihad.pdf
34. O. Roy, Globalised Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, C. Hurst &Co., 2004.
35. E. Gellner, Muslim Society, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981.
36. C. Geertz, Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1968, p. 1.
37. N.E. Riley and J. McCarthy, Demography in the Age of the Postmodern, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003.
38. G. Allan, "Community," Sociology: The Key Concepts, J. Scott, ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 35–38.
39. D.E. Chubin et al., eds., Interdisciplinary Analysis and Research: Theory and Practice of Problem-Focused Research and Development, Lomond, 1986.
40. T. Wragg, Modelling of the Effects of Information Campaigns Using Agent-Based Simulation, tech. report DSTO-TR-1853, (U), Commonwealth of Australia, 2006; http://dspace.dsto.defence.gov.au/dspace/ bitstream/1947/4405/1DSTO-TR-1853%20PR.pdf .
41. E.S. Bogardus, "Measuring Social Distance," Sociology and Social Research, vol. 9, Mar. 1925, pp. 299–308.
42. Z. Zevallos, "Sociology as 'Other': Representing Sociological Knowledge within a National Security Context," Public Sociologies: Lessons and Trans-Tasman Comparisons, TASA/SAANZ Joint Conf. Proc., Univ. of Auckland, 2007.

Index Terms:
simulation, sociology
Citation:
Lucy Resnyansky, "Social Modeling as an Interdisciplinary Research Practice," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 20-27, July-Aug. 2008, doi:10.1109/MIS.2008.72
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.