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Published on Jul 8, 2011
This video is a "teaser" for the Sociology Compass article "The Biosociology of Solidarity," by Will Kalkhoff, Joseph Dippong, and Stanford W. Gregory, Jr. (citation information forthcoming). You may access the article at: (URL forthcoming).
For well over a century, sociologists have directed considerable attention to understanding and explaining the processes that produce social solidarity—the feeling of interpersonal connectedness that binds members of society together. Despite the centrality of solidarity to sociological thought, many sociologists remain unaware of the biosocial processes and mechanisms that create and sustain it. We espouse a biosociological viewpoint, which illuminates solidarity as a complex and fascinating interplay between biological and social elements. In this paper we discuss three important advances within the field of neuroscience that point to exciting new avenues of research for sociologists: 1) the discovery of mirror neurons, 2) developments in the understanding of brain plasticity, and 3) increased appreciation of the role of non-conscious processes in social interaction. Additionally, we discuss ongoing basic and applied research to demonstrate how sociologists can capitalize on recent scientific developments to advance their own research agendas.