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Mathematics in sociology

  • Christofer Edling
Publishing year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 197-220
Publication/Series: Annual Review of Sociology
Volume: 28
Document type: Journal article

Abstract english

Since mathematical sociology was firmly established in the 1960s, it has grown tremendously. Today it has an impressive scope and deals with topical problems of social structure and social change. A distinctive feature of today's use of mathematics in sociology is the movement toward a synthesis between process, structure, and action. In combination with an increased attention to social mechanisms and the problems of causality and temporality, this synthesis can add to its relevance for sociology in general. The article presents recent advances and major sociological research streams in contemporary sociology that involve the application of mathematics, logic, and computer modeling.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • sociology
  • sociologi
  • game-theory
  • social networks
  • collective action
  • exchange networks
  • small-world networks
  • rational choice model
  • social
  • social mechanisms
  • rational choice
  • mathematical models
  • social structure
  • process
  • multiple networks
  • theoretical-analysis
  • vacancy chains
  • weak-ties


Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62



Centre for Economic Demography




+46 46 222 88 62




I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences