Linking individuals and societies

Guillermina Jasso

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    How do individuals shape societies? How do societies shape individuals? This article develops a framework for studying the connections between micro and macro phenomena. The framework builds on two ingredients widely used in social science-population and variable. Starting with the simplest case of one population and one variable, additional variables and additional populations are systematically introduced. This approach enables simple and natural introduction and exposition of such operations as pooling, matching, regression, hierarchical and multilevel modeling, calculating summary measures, finding the distribution of a function of random variables, and choosing between two or more distributions. To illustrate the procedures we draw on problems from a variety of topical domains in social science, including an extended illustration focused on residential racial segregation. Three useful features of the framework are: First, similarities in the mathematical structure underlying distinct substantive questions, spanning different levels of aggregation and different substantive domains, become apparent. Second, links between distinct methodological procedures and operations become apparent. Third, the framework has a potential for growth, as new models and operations become incorporated into the framework.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-51
    Number of pages51
    JournalJournal of Mathematical Sociology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2009


    • Inequality
    • Micro-macro link
    • Probability distributions
    • Segregation
    • Sociobehavioral forces

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Algebra and Number Theory
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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