System entropy analysis

Kenneth D. Bailey (Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 1 August 1997


A number of entropy models of social systems have been developed recently. Unfortunately, the complementarity of these approaches remains largely unanalysed, due to terminological and conceptual differences among them. There is an urgent need for a meta‐theoretical framework that will facilitate the analysis and comparison of all social entropy models. System entropy analysis (SEA), as presented here, is designed to fill this need. It is a second‐order, meta‐analytic tool which analyses each approach in terms of its major concepts, its basic units of analysis, its definition and measurement of entropy, and its specification of microstates and macrostates. First discusses the need for SEA, and then specifies its structure. Concludes with an application of SEA to the comparison and integration of three entropy approaches: synergetics, complexity theory and social entropy theory (SET).



Bailey, K. (1997), "System entropy analysis", Kybernetes, Vol. 26 No. 6/7, pp. 674-688.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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