Chapter

What is choice?

Michael Clarke

in Challenging choices

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423986
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.003.0002
What is choice?

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This chapter explains that choices are made by individuals, or sometimes groups, appraising reality, constructing a view of it, and selecting a perceived possibility for action, including refusing to act. It notes that the greater the capacity the individual has to recognise and process information, the greater the number and complexity of choices which can be made. Either they are habits or the context is so routinized that the decision is undemanding. It explains that beyond the habits formed for themselves, people also rely on others — routines governed by convention. It argues that real choices are demanding, and for that reason, people go to great lengths to routinize them. It also discusses how rapid changes in societies, and in the social worlds, force people to make far more choices in the substantial sense that do stable cultures and societies.

Keywords: choices; information; routines; convention; cultures; societies

Chapter.  3360 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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