More than a Game: Sociological Theory from the Theories of Games

Benjamin DiCicco-Bloom, David R. Gibson
2010 Sociological theory  
Sociologists are fond of game metaphors. However, such metaphors rarely go beyond casual references to generic games. Yet games are little social systems, and each game offers a distinctive perspective on the relationship between rules and constraints, on the one side, and emergent order, on the other. In this article, we examine three games-chess, go, and (Texas hold 'em) poker-for sociological insights into contested social arenas such as markets, warfare, politics, and the professions. We
more » ... cribe each game's rules and emergent properties, and then offer a brief theorization of the social world through the "lens" of that game. Then we show how a study of the three games advances the sociology of strategy by enriching ideas about skill, position, and strategic dilemma.
doi:10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010.01377.x fatcat:jdy4erxpkfgx3c6bum27z7ruta