Identifying Complex Dynamics in Social Systems: A New Methodological Approach Applied to Study School Segregation
by Viktoria Spaiser, Peter Hedström, Shyam Ranganathan, Kim Jansson, Monica K. Nordvik, and David J. T. Sumpter.
Spaiser, V ; Hedström, P ; Ranganathan, S ; Jansson, K ; Nordvik, Mk ; Sumpter, Djt. "Identifying Complex Dynamics in Social Systems: A New Methodological Approach Applied to Study School Segregation." Sociological Methods and Research. 2016
It is widely recognized that segregation processes are often the result of complex nonlinear dynamics. Empirical analyses of complex dynamics are however rare, because there is a lack of appropriate empirical modeling techniques that are capable of capturing complex patterns and nonlinearities. At the same time, we know that many social phenomena display nonlinearities. In this article, we introduce a new modeling tool in order to partly fill this void in the literature. Using data of all secondary schools in Stockholm county during the years 1990 to 2002, we demonstrate how the methodology can be applied to identify complex dynamic patterns like tipping points and multiple phase transitions with respect to segregation. We establish critical thresholds in schools’ ethnic compositions, in general, and in relation to various factors such as school quality and parents’ income, at which the schools are likely to tip and become increasingly segregated.
Continue reading this article.
May require logging on to the UiO network.