Our aim in this chapter is to stimulate the construction of theoretical models that employ formal ideas and techniques to advance the theory of solidarity.
Early formal models in sociology largely consisted of isolated efforts that were regarded with suspicion or indifference in the discipline. Yet these works did play a role in terms of stimulating further developments. For instance, diffusion studies (Dodd, Rainboth and Nehnevajsa, 1955) stimulated by the ideas of Dodd (1942) provided the empirical basis for mathematical models developed by Rapoport (1956). Rapoport was part of the research group in mathematical biology and general sociology organized by Rashevsky and publishing in The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics. The work of Rashevsky (1959) did not "catch on" in social science but was folded into an emerging zeitgeist that led to the establishment of the journal Behavioral Science in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, this journal provided an organ for publication not only of work by Rapoport but for other model-building ideas by such people as Ashby and Boulding, as well as a number of sociologists with formal model-building interests such as the paper on an algebra of shared awareness by Friedell (1969).1