Methodological institutionalism and the importance of meso-level of social analysis

Kirdina-Chandler S.G.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Chief Researcher, Head of the sector for the evolution of social and economic systems, Institute of Economics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

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Kirdina-Chandler S.G. Methodological institutionalism and the importance of meso-level of social analysis. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2015. No 12. P. 51-59


This inquiry emphasizes the importance of the meso-level for social analysis. We consider the micro- meso- and macro-levels of social analysis and relate these to the institutionalist approaches for sociology and economics. We cite numerous studies that understand the “mesolevel” as a space of rules’ formation in which micro-level actors interact. Their interacting then generates macrostructures taking on their own distinct characteristics, and are thus not reducible to the properties of their constituent elements. For the micro-level of social analysis a principle of methodological individualism is relevant, where as holism principle is significant for the macrolevel. In addition two mentioned principles we promote a new perspective of social analysis that we define as “methodological/ institutionalism”. Its content, as well as applications are considered in the paper.

holism; meso-level social analysis; methodological individualism; methodological institutionalism
Content No 12, 2015