Exam Appointments Here

Instructions: show up a few minutes early and knock with vigor when your time comes. I'll have a selection of 3 to 6 questions for you. Answer in a manner that best shows what you know.

Question Universe

Q170. Suppose you have a population of one hundred persons. It is divided into five categories of willingness to join a protest all of which depend on people's expectations of how many others will appear at the protest. The thresholds range from very low (I'll go if anyone else is going) to the very high (I won't go unless basically everybody else is going).

Assume the population is divided among these categories as follows:

Challenge of Recruiting Very Easy Easy Average Hard Very Hard
Participation Threshold 1 10 40 60 99
Number at this threshold 10 20 40 20 10

a. If news reports suggest that 15 people will show up, how many actually will?

b. If last week saw participation of 41 and this is widely reported so that everyone knows, how many will come out this week? And then next week? And after that?

c. What if 91 came last week?

Q171. A common phrase to describe processes in which people engage in imitative behavior is "bandwagon effect." Explain the appropriateness of this metaphor.

Q172. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. If news reports suggest participation will be at 20 people, how many people's threshold is met or exceeded? How about if the number is 70?


Q193. In "Cosmos & Taxis" Friedrich von Hayek distinguishes two kinds of order. What does he call them? What are some synonyms for his terms? Demonstrate your understanding of the difference by giving examples of social order of each type.

Q194. Who wrote about the "invisible hand" and what does it mean for us?

Q197. Explain and give an example of a dominant strategy in a prisoner's dilemma game.

Q200. One of the most important concepts coming out of market, rational choice, and game theory models is "equilibrium." What do we mean by an equilibrium in game theory? Give an example and explain what we would mean if we said "get caught in a bad equilibrium."

Q211. Explicate and comment:

To put this differently: in a social order the particular circumstances to which each individual will react will be those known to him. But the individual responses to particular circumstances will result in an overall order only if the individuals obey such rules as will produce and order. Even a very limited similarity in their behavior may be sufficient if the rules which they all obey are such as to produce an order. Such an order will always constitute an adaptation to the multitude of circumstances which are known to all the members of that society taken together but which are not known as a whole to any one person (Hayek 1976: 147.7).

Q217. Sociologists and anthropologists gripe endlessly about rational actor models, failing, over and over again, to understand that they are MODELS, not descriptions. Explicate and comment on this passage to show that you understand what the value of a model like prisoner's dilemma is for social theory.

The Cooperation Theory that is presented…is based upon an investigation of individuals who pursue their own self-interest without the aid of a central authority to force them to cooperate with each other. The reason for assuming self-interest is that it allows an examination of the difficult case in which cooperation is not completely based upon a concern for others or upon the welfare of the group as a whole. It must, however, be stressed that this assumption is actually much less restrictive than it appears. … So the assumption of self interest is really just an assumption that concern for others does not completely solve the problem of when to cooperate with them and when not to (Axelrod 1984: 177.2).

Q234. Hayek is sometimes taken to be saying that the modern world throws up problems that are too complex to be handled by planning and policy making. Some things can be handled that way, but big and complex things cannot. What are the differences between the two types of order and the limitations and possibilities Hayek suggests each has and how does he get from there to social order?

Q235. Schelling’s piece, “Micromotives, Macrobehaviors,” is included because it demonstrates some specific conditions under which market interactions may lead to coordination but not cooperation. What are his two examples and what are the conditions that can affect whether market interactions lead to cooperation? Explain the role they play, perhaps using our class chairs and offices simulation as a point of reference, in limiting the optimism of Smith and Hayek for markets as a source of social order.

Q236. In a prisoner’s dilemma game, the rational thing for both players is to defect. This makes mutual defection an equilibrium, though it is not a preferred one (the collective would be better off with another outcome). In other words, in a single game of prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation is “impossible.” But cooperation does happen in the world.

Demonstrate your understanding of Axelrod's ideas by describing the mechanism and conditions under which this can happen without assuming anything “social” about the agents.


Explain how this works and how it adds to or modifies Smith’s and Hayek’s story about how markets can be a source of social order.

Q375. Hobbes and Engels both give us a vision of the state. Hechter and Horne suggest that "Instead of a world made up of equal individuals, Engels's starting point is a society made up of unequal classes." Show what you know about Hobbes and Engels but explaining this statement.

Q378. "From an economic point of view, coercion is simply too expensive to be the sole basis of social order" (Hechter and Horne, 85). Explain what this is getting at. How does it lead us to Weber's concept of legitimate domination.

Q379. "Marx and Engels suggest that the disadvantaged are duped by the institutions and ideology of the ruling class" (Hechter and Horne, 85). Elaborate.

Q380. Compare patrimonialism, bureaucracy, and charismatic authority in terms of the efficiency of maintaining order and ensuring loyalty among a leader's staff.

Q382. "A central idea in the readings in this section is that government matters" (87). Extend this idea to say that "organizations matter" in an argument about why some hierarchy is needed if we are to cooperate in groups of more than a few to get things done.

Q383. Define the following words/phrases as used by Hobbes

felicity (89.3)
laudable actions (90.5)
redound … to their posterity (90.6)
thraldome (90.7)
hope of requitall (90.8)
secret machination (92.2)
Prudence (92.3)
diffidence (92.6)
cattell (93.5)
dommage (93.5)
Cardinall (94.8)
Jus and Lex (95.7)
Covenants (97.7)

Q385. Explain the following words, terms, phrases found in Engels' "The Origin of the State" excerpt.

gentile constitution (99.3):
plebs (99.4):
mark constitution (99.5)
bondsmen (101.2)
joint-stock company (101.5)
universal suffrage (102.1)
Bonapartism (101.3)
proletariat (101.3)
Prussian Junkers (101.4)

Q386. "…the state arose from the need to keep class antagonisms in check…." Attribute and explain.

Q387. Explain the following words/terms as used in Weber's excerpt on types of legitimate domination:

wertrationale (103.6)
material interests (103.6)
charismatic (104.4)
abstract rules (105.2)
impersonal order (105.3)
rationally delimited jurisdiction (105.5)
[absence of] "appropriation of his official position by the incumbent" (106.4)
office (106.7)
plebiscite (106.9)
administrative staff (107.2)
monocracy (107.4)
"principle of appointment" (108.5)
"red tape" (109.7)
dilettantism (109.8)
levelling (111.4)
sine ira et studio (111.5) - See Wikipedia
formalism (111.8)
utilitarian expediency (112.7)
patrimonial (113.4) - See Wikipedia
prebendal (114.6)
formal system of rules (116.7)
routinization of charisma (118.7)

Q391. Weber describes "monocratic bureaucracy" as an ideal type. What is an ideal type? Describe the five characteristics of an ideal typical bureaucracy.

Q392. Weber suggests that bureaucratic domination is marked by "the dominance of a spirit of formalistic impersonality" (111.45). Explain.

Q394. What does Weber mean by "the routinization of charisma"? (118ff)

Q399. Identify and elaborate on three ways in which the shopfloor culture described by Willis parallels the counter-school culture he talks about.

(for final exam) Bring the phenomena Willis describes into conversation with material from the "groups" section of the course. What mechanisms described in that section might illuminate the lads' oppositional culture or shop floor culture?

Q400. Willis' Learning to Labour is often cited as an example of the social science concept of the "reproduction of social class." Explain what that phrase means to you after reading the excerpt from Willis' book.

Q401. What does Weber mean by legitimacy?

Q405. Weber says (103.5) that "rule over a considerable number of persons requires a staff…." If you read carefully you will see that the types of "authority" he is talking about refer to the leader's capacity to control and direct the staff as much as to the leader's capacity to dominate "the led." Discuss Weber's types of legitimate domination as forms of maintaining organizational integrity.

Q407. Weber's definition, please:


Q410. Show what you know about Schelling's "micromotives macrobehavior" models by explaining this diagram.


Q414. Explain why the study of the "emergence of cooperation" might be especially relevant in international relations. How does this observation suggest a fundamental limit to the Hobbesian model?

Q415. Explain what we mean by "norm of reciprocity" and how it is relevant to the course.

Q420. Explain why Paul Willis' "Learning to Labour" was a reading in the hierarchy section of this course.

Q423. The article "From Ants to People, An Instinct to Swarm" suggests that humans might not (yet) be like ants because we have not had enough time to adapt to living in groups (195.5). What does this mean? Demonstrate what you learned from this article (and from this section of the course) by talking about how humans are and are not like ants and what might be involved in an evolution toward being more like ants.

Q424. Fill in the blank boxes in this summary diagram for how hierarchy can generate social order. Note that the diagram is purely schematic - you might decide there are more or fewer boxes in different cases or the arrows might not go directly to coordination first, etc.


Q426. Weber's definition, please:

traditional authority
rational legal authority
charismatic authority

Q427. Show what you know by attributing and explaining this diagram: