Identity and Control
How Social Formations Emerge
Second Edition
Harrison C. White


In this completely revised edition of one of the foundational texts of network sociology, Harrison White refines and enlarges his groundbreaking theory of how social structure and culture emerge from the chaos and uncertainty of social life. Incorporating new contributions from a group of young sociologists and many fascinating and novel case studies, Identity and Control is the only major book of social theory that links social structure with the lived experience of individuals, providing a rich perspective on the kinds of social formations that develop in the process. Going beyond traditional sociological dichotomies such as agency/structure, individual/society, or micro/macro, Identity and Control presents a toolbox of concepts that will be useful to a wide range of social scientists, as well as those working in public policy, management, or associational life and, beyond, to any reader who is interested in understanding the dynamics of social life.

Harrison C. White is the Giddings Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. His books include Markets from Networks: Socioeconomic Models of Production (Princeton) and Careers and Creativity: Social Forces in the Arts.