Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Relative Size of Things

Sociologists are often focused on different levels of phenomena; hence the attention paid by sociologists to the micro-macro problem (see James S. Coleman's "boat" showing linkages at various levels), Anthony Giddens' structuration theory (orienting social theory toward micro-macro concerns), and hierarchical linear models, otherwise known as multilevel models (in which the analyst models two or more levels of given social phenomena). Although dealing with biology and physics rather than sociology, both of the following hyperlinks help us to visualize the importance of how reality differs by various levels: cell size and scale (developed by scientists at the University of Utah) and Powers of Ten (created by IBM in the 1970s for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago). Cool stuff.