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I do not know about Diamond, but Gerhard Lenski has extensive material on
this which DOES include real comparisons. See, for example, his textbook
Human Societies, with various co-authors in different editions. He argues
that the primie mover is the predominant mode of technology, so that for
example egalitarian small bands emerge in hunting and gethering societies.
Also of interest is every networker's favourite classic theorist, Simmel,
especially in The Web of Group Affiliations. Here the prime mover is
societal differentiation, with powerful consequences for both groups
(including organizations, special interest groups, subcultures etc.) and
individual networks, with further consequences for individual personality.
There is also some work on variations within modern society, such as the
logarithmic effect of group size on in-group friendship choices. But this
is a continuous (though non-linear) effect of size; I cannot think of any
more abrupt size effects.
On Thu, 18 Mar 2004, Barry Wellman wrote:
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
> Andy, et al
> This strikes me as (smart) surmise by Diamond
> And not empirically grounded.
> Has he searched HRAF for example?
> Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
> wellman at chass.utoronto.ca http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
> Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
> 455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
> To network is to live; to live is to network
> On Thu, 18 Mar 2004, Andy Smith wrote:
> > Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 10:48:24 -0800
> > From: Andy Smith <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [SOCNET] fractals and threshold points
> > ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
> > Doug,
> > In his book _Guns, Germs, and Steel_, Jared Diamond writes about a similar
> > subject, breaking down social complexity based on size of the group. His
> > results extended to three tiers:
> > Size: Dozens
> > Basically bands, no fixed home, "Egalitarian" leadership, no real
> > bureaucracy, no laws, unstratified culture.
> > Size: Hundreds
> > Tribes, a single home, "Egalitarian" or "Big Man," organized reesource
> > extraction, still unstratified
> > Size: Thousands
> > Chiefdoms, many homes, castes and classes, cronyism and monarchs,
> > bureacracy and laws, taxes, indentured labor, slavery, public
> > architecture, luxuries for the elite.
> > These examples, by the way, are taken from a presentation by Raph Koster
> > concerning competitive and cooperative structures in online worlds,
> > available
> > here (appears to be IE only):
> > http://www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/smallworlds.html
> > - Andy Smith
> > Doug Fraiser wrote:
> > >Fractal theory has brought out that in many natural systems, the
> > >system's pattern of organization is constant over a certain range in
> > >scale but changes at particular threshold points. Has anyone
> > >experimented with the idea that patterns of social networks are likewise
> > >constant over a certain range of scale (e.g., within groups ranging from
> > >5 to 500 members) but change at particular threshold points (at
> > >approximately 500 members, in the previous example)?
> > >
> > >Thanks,
> > >
> > >Doug Fraiser
> > >
> > >
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