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The Spread of Rational Choice in the Social Sciences: A Sign of Strength or Weakness?

L’expansion du choix rationnel en sciences sociales: signe de vigueur ou marque de faiblesse ?

Camille Chaserant (), Antoine Pietri () and Victoire Girard

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: The Handbook of Rational Choice Social Research provides an overview of the rational choice paradigm's achievements. This review article shows how the rational choice approach has gradually become a paradigm by overcoming sociology's traditional divisions in three ways. Firstly, assumptions about the actor's decision-making environment have been significantly refined to provide a better understanding of the influence of social structure on individual choices. At the same time, the rationality assumption has been greatly relaxed in order to integrate some of the many experimental results that have shown homo oeconomicus to be empirically inadequate. Thirdly, increasing the complexity of both the environment and decision-making processes has stimulated the study of a broad range of topics that were previously not much explored by the rational choice approach – we discuss the analysis of violence – establishing, according to some authors, new relationships between the various disciplines in the social field.

Keywords: VIOLENCE; TRANSDISCIPLINARITY; RATIONALITY; CHOICE; METHODOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM; choix; Rationalité; individualisme méthodologique; transdisciplinarité (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01396350
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Published in Revue française de sociologie, Presse de Sciences Po / Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2016, 57 (1), pp.131-146

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