Leading Figures

Kent A. McClelland - Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, USA

Kent A McClelland

Kent A. McClelland is a Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, USA, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and a B.A. from Oberlin College. McClelland’s publications on sociological applications of Perceptual Control Theory include his 1994 article, “Perceptual Control and Social Power,” his 2004 article, “Collective Control of Perception: Constructing Order from Conflict,” and two chapters of the book he edited in 2006, Purpose, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology.

His website is located here

The crowd simulation that illustrates some of the applications of PCT to sociology is available here

Further key papers

McClelland, Kent. 1994. "Perceptual Control and Social Power." Sociological Perspectives 37(4):461-496.

McClelland, Kent. 2004. “Collective Control of Perception: Constructing Order from Conflict.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 60:65-99.

McClelland, Kent A. and Thomas J. Fararo, eds. 2006. Purpose, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

(McClelland is co-author of Chapter 1, “Control Systems Thinking in Sociological Theory,” and author of Chapter 2, “Understanding Collective Control Processes.”)

McClelland, K. (in press). Cycles of conflict: A computational modelling alternative to Collins' theory of conflict escalation. Socological Theory.