Social dynamics

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List of terms related to Social dynamics

Social dynamics is the study of the ability of a society to react to inner and outer changes and deal with its regulation mechanisms. Social dynamics is a mathematically inspired approach to analyse societies, building upon systems theory and sociology. Sociologists, ethnologists, economists, social psychologists, criminologists, anthropologists and biologists are utilizing it in their studies of systems and behavior.


Society and culture are things to which we are emotionally bound and for which we have no immediate alternative. Sociology and psychology deal with ratings, with subjectivity, they are supposed to provide objective findings to serve subjective needs. (Of course different people have more or less different feelings, goals and opinions, this must be discussed, as cultures found upon least common denominators.) Cut short, sociology sits on the fence, it is a mix of human and nature sciences, philosophy and politics. As this has stalled the progress of sociology, some people meant to bring new life into it by applying mathematics and systemics to sociology: On a certain level, life and societies are nothing more than systems dealing respectively with genes and culture (for life-like behavior in the latter, see meme). Therefore we can try to describe social systems by signals which become modified by transmission functions.

Some examples

If a society is small, its individuals can come to a fine consensus in a short time, that means that its amplitude error is small and its frequency bandwidth is high. But its absolute amplitude is small, so this society is still dependent on the big amplitude of nature, on the forces of nature. A big society can overcome hunger, disease and poverty, but its political media are hogs; high but lagged and distorted output signal.

More advanced cases introduce feedback, e.g. the cycles between economic boom and recession, whose resonance frequency is mostly ~2-5 years. The strength of a resonance is measured by the parameter Q (for quality). Calculations become simplified by signal theory.

Another example: Modern societies rely on technology to invent and promote new technology. The problem with backpropagation is that it can complicate the system, make it dynamic hence hard to control. As mankind needs to align technology to human needs and needs to foresee the effects of its actions, social dynamics and its scientific relatives is an important field.

See also


Weidlich, W. (1997) "Sociodynamics applied to the evolution of urban and regional structures". Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, Vol. 1, pp. 85-98. Available on line:

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