Usable Social Science by Neil J. Smelser (2012)


This volume is a one-of-a-kind contribution to applied social science and the product of a long collaboration between an established, interdisciplinary sociologist and a successful banking executive. Together, Neil Smelser and John Reed use a straightforward approach to presenting substantive social science knowledge and indicate its relevance and applicability to decision-making, problem-solving and policy-making. Among the areas presented are space-and-time coordinates of social life; cognition and bias; group and network effects; the role of sanctions; organizational dynamics; and macro-changes associated with economic development. Finally, the authors look at the big picture of why society at large demands and needs social-science knowledge, and how the academy actually supplies relevant knowledge.

Neil J. Smelser
Publication date: 
October 1, 2012
Publication type: 
Smelser, N.J., & Reed, J.S. (2012). Usable social science. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.