Human agents and social structures

Author: Peter J. Martin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0719095190
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The structure/agency debate has been among the central issues in recent discussions of social theory. It has been widely assumed that the key theoretical task is to find a link between social structures and acting human beings - to reconcile the macro with the micro, society and the individual. The contributors to this book reject this solution to the problem. For them, both the concept of 'society' as an entity and the freely-acting 'individual' are theoretical fiction. Rather, the immediate task of the social sciences is to take the social world seriously, to understand the ways in which that world emerges dynamically from, and exerts influence on, the interactions of real people in real situations. This timely collection is not intended as an even-handed review of the debate, but as a deliberately polemical intervention which aims to highlight some of the ways in which its central terms have been misconceived.

Human Agents and Social Structures

Author: Peter J. Martin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 071907861X
Format: PDF, ePub
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The structure/agency debate has been among the central issues in discussions of social theory. This book is not intended as an even-handed review of the debate, but as a deliberately polemical intervention which aims to highlight some of the ways in which its central terms have been misconceived.

Identity Theory

Author: Peter J. Burke
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199889112
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The concept of identity has become widespread within the social and behavioral sciences in recent years, cutting across disciplines from psychiatry and psychology to political science and sociology. All individuals claim particular identities given their roles in society, groups they belong to, and characteristics that describe themselves. Introduced almost 30 years ago, identity theory is a social psychological theory that attempts to understand identities, their sources in interaction and society, their processes of operation, and their consequences for interaction and society from a sociological perspective. This book describes identity theory, its origins, the research that supports it, and its future direction. It covers the relation between identity theory and other related theories, as well as the nature and operation of identities. In addition, the book discusses the multiple identities individuals hold from their multiple positions in society and organizations as well as the multiple identities activated by many people interacting in groups and organizations. And, it covers the manner in which identities offer both stability and change to individuals. Written in an accessible style, Identity Theory makes, step by step, the full range of this powerful new theory understandable to readers at all levels.

The Causal Power of Social Structures

Author: Dave Elder-Vass
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139488198
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The problem of structure and agency has been the subject of intense debate in the social sciences for over 100 years. This book offers a solution. Using a critical realist version of the theory of emergence, Dave Elder-Vass argues that, instead of ascribing causal significance to an abstract notion of social structure or a monolithic concept of society, we must recognise that it is specific groups of people that have social structural power. Some of these groups are entities with emergent causal powers, distinct from those of human individuals. Yet these powers also depend on the contributions of human individuals, and this book examines the mechanisms through which interactions between human individuals generate the causal powers of some types of social structures. The Causal Power of Social Structures makes particularly important contributions to the theory of human agency and to our understanding of normative institutions.

Structuration

Author: John Parker
Publisher: Open University Press
ISBN: 9780335203956
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The debate about structuration has important consequences for the way we explain the production and transformation of social structures such as institutions and rules, cultural traditions, patterns of regular behaviour, and distributions of power and inequality. Students and researchers across the social sciences will find this to be a clear and accessible guide to a concept at the heart of social theory."--BOOK JACKET.

A Beginner s Guide to Social Theory

Author: Shaun Best
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9780761965336
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Best offers a comprehensive overview of social theory from classical sociology to the present day. The reader is guided through the work of Durkheim, Marx and Weber and contemporary thinkers like Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Gilles Deluze, Manuel Castells, Luce Irigary, Naomi Woolf and Camille Paglia.

The Constitution of Society

Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745665284
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Anthony Giddens has been in the forefront of developments in social theory for the past decade. In The Constitution of Society he outlines the distinctive position he has evolved during that period and offers a full statement of a major new perspective in social thought, a synthesis and elaboration of ideas touched on in previous works but described here for the first time in an integrated and comprehensive form. A particular feature is Giddens's concern to connect abstract problems of theory to an interpretation of the nature of empirical method in the social sciences. In presenting his own ideas, Giddens mounts a critical attack on some of the more orthodox sociological views. The Constitution of Society is an invaluable reference book for all those concerned with the basic issues in contemporary social theory.

Realist Social Theory

Author: Margaret S. Archer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521484428
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Margaret Archer develops here her morphogenetic approach, heralded in Culture and Agency (CUP, 1988), and applies it to the problem of structure and agency, that is, how we both shape society and are shaped by it. Her aim is to capture the interplay between these two processes rather than collapse them into one, as has been the case with the traditional competing individualist and collectivist methodologies. The morphogenetic approach offers a new understanding of social change and poses a direct challenge to Giddens' structuration theory.

Emotion and Social Structures

Author: Christian von Scheve
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317577760
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The past decades have seen significant advances in the sociological understanding of human emotion. Sociology has shown how culture and society shape our emotions and how emotions contribute to micro- and macro-social processes. At the same time, the behavioral sciences have made progress in understanding emotion at the level of the individual mind and body. Emotion and Social Structures embraces both perspectives to uncover the fundamental role of affect and emotion in the emergence and reproduction of social order. How do culture and social structure influence the cognitive and bodily basis of emotion? How do large-scale patterns of feeling emerge? And how do emotions promote the coordination of social action and interaction? Integrating theories and evidence from disciplines such as psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Christian von Scheve argues for a sociological understanding of emotion as a bi-directional mediator between social action and social structure. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of the sociology of emotion, microsociology, and cognitive sociology, as well as social psychology, cognitive science, and affective neuroscience.