Action chains

In hmolscience, action chains, "event sequences" (Bohannan, 1957), "strips of culture" (Schechner, 1985), and or "chain reaction" (Hall, 1966), are cause and effect connecting domino-like actions and or reactions traceable in history, leading from acts to events.

In 1957, Paul Bohannan, in his Justice and Judgment Among the Tiv, and later in his Social Anthropology (1963), was using the term “event sequences”, to describe action reaction deterministic sequences of events.

In 1966, Edward Hall, in his The Hidden Dimension, introduced the term “action chain”.

In 1985, Richard Schechner, in his Between Theater and Anthropology, was using, according to Bohannan, the term “strips of culture” for action chains.

In 1995, Bohannan, in historical retrospect of Hall and Schechner, stated that his earlier event sequences term and Hall’s action chain were synonymous; and thereby defined action chains as follows: [1]

Action chains are the essential basis of cultural dynamics. Actions and events follow on another in predictable chains, sometimes founded on cause and effect, sometimes only on cultural tradition. Unless it is disturbed a known sequence of acts, once begun, is usually followed through.”

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Historical | Examples
The 28 Jun 1914 shooting of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by the Bosnian Serb student Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Serbian terrorist organization Black Hand, is said to have been the tipping point that, within thirty days, led to a global chain reaction that led to WWI, claiming ten million lives, and followup WWII, claiming another thirty million. [2] In this sense, the tipping point can be looked on as either the heat of the spark reaction working to catalyze the bigger reaction, thus acting to get the bigger reaction over the activation energy barrier, or as an aspect of collision theory.

The Russians invading Afghanistan in 1979, and the efforts therein of Osama bin Laden, was a link in the action chain, using Hall’s terminology, which led to the later 11 Sep 2001 bombings of the twin towers. [3]

See also
Great chain of being

1. (a) Hall, Edward T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension: an Anthropologist Examines Man’s Use of Space in Public in Private (chain, 3+ pgs). Doubleday Anchor Book.
(b) Bohannan, Paul. (1995). “Some Models for Planning the Future”, Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 7(1):37-59.
(c) Bohannan, Paul. (1995). How Culture Works (pgs. 49, 202). Simon and Schuster.
2. Buchanan, Mark. (2000). Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen (pg. 3). Three Rivers Press.
3. Miller, John. (1999). “Greetings, America. My Name is Osama bin Laden: a Conversation with the Most Dangerous Man in the World” (Ѻ), Esquire, Feb.

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