SIMSOC: Simulated Society, Participant's Manual

SIMSOC: Simulated Society, Participant's Manual

Fifth Edition (Participant's Manual)

The official guide to SIMSOC, the dynamic group simulation game whose “potential for stimulating the learning process is staggering” (Teaching Sociology), in which players grapple with the challenge of governing society.

In SIMSOC, players confront issues like abuse of power, justice, diversity, trust, and leadership as they negotiate their way through labor-management strife, political turmoil, and natural disasters. Success or failure is dependent upon decisions made by players and the creativity of the group—and every game is a teaching tool.

To be successful, players must utilize every basic social process from cooperation and reward to threat and punishment. SIMSOC will make participants ask questions about social control, and bring everyday experience and deeper understanding to even the most arcane social and organizational theory.

Included in this Fifth Edition of SIMSOC's Participant's Manual are instructions for playing, materials for play, study questions based on participation, and selected readings about simulation games, leadership, and social processes. New to the Fifth Edition are additional size levels to accommodate groups of up to ninety participants with simplified rules and readings by authors from Nicholas Lemann to Robert Putnam.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 188 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684871400 | 
  • July 2000
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Read an Excerpt


You will shortly be participating as a citizen in a simulated society. If the society is to be a valuable learning experience, we will need your cooperation. Cooperation in this context means taking your objectives in the society seriously, We have tried to create a situation in which each of you has goals that depend on other people in the society for their achievement. Some of your goals will be held in common with other people, and some will bring you into conflict with others. Inevitably, some of you will do better than others in achieving your goals but, unlike some games, SIMSOC has no clear winners or losers.

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About the Author

William A. Gamson

William A. Gamson, the former President of the American Sociological Association, is also a former Guggenheim Fellow and Professor in Boston College's Sociology Department. He is the creator of SIMSOC and author of Talking Politics, The Strategy of Social Protest, and Power and Discontent, among other books.




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