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Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation$
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Michael Wolf-Branigin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199829460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829460.001.0001

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Introduction: The History and Theory of Complexity

Introduction: The History and Theory of Complexity

(p.1) 1 Introduction: The History and Theory of Complexity
Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Michael Wolf-Branigin

Oxford University Press

Complexity has achieved this paradigm status in both physical and social science disciplines, and forms a theoretical underpinning in fields including communications and linguistics. Complexity has not yet reached a similar status in social work. The study of complexity arose because a group of scientists believed that complex systems across many natural, societal, and technological domains shared similarities. These similarities include being adaptive, self-correcting, or emergent. This introduction traces the beginning of this emerging field of inquiry and introduces related concepts often found in complex systems that are relevant to social work research and evaluation.

Keywords:   complexity, complex systems, complex adaptive systems, game theory, network science, systems theory

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