Rational Choice Theory

Author: Margaret S. Archer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134546521
Format: PDF, Docs
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Rational Choice Theory is flourishing in sociology and is increasingly influential in other disciplines. Contributors to this volume are convinced that it provides an inadequate conceptualization of all aspects of decision making: of the individuals who make the decisions, of the process by which decisions get made and of the context within which decisions get made. The ciritique focuses on the four assumptions which are the bedrock of rational choice: rationality: the theory's definition of rationality is incomplete, and cannot satisfactorily incorporate norms and emotions individualism: rational choice is based upon atomistic, individual decision makers and cannot account for decisions made by ;couples', 'groups' or other forms of collective action process: the assumption of fixed, well-ordered preferences and 'perfect information' makes the theory inadequate for situations of change and uncertainty aggregation: as methodological individualists, rational choice theorists can only view structure and culture as aggregates and cannot incorporate structural or cultural influences as emergent properties which have an effect upon decision making. The critique is grounded in discussion of a wide range of social issues, including race, marriage, health and education.

Making Realism Work

Author: Bob Carter
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415300612
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this innovative book, theorists and researchers from various social science disciplines explore the potential of realist social theory for empirical research. The examples are drawn from a wide range of fields health and medicine, crime, housing, sociolinguistics, development theory and deal with issues such as causality, probability, and reflexivity in social science. Varied and lively contributions relate central methodological issues to detailed accounts of research projects which adopt a realist framework. Making Realism Work provides an accessible discussion of a significant current in contemporary social science and will be of interest to social theorists and social researchers alike.

Critical Realism and Composition Theory

Author: Donald Judd
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134463936
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The field of composition theory has emerged as part of the intellectual turmoil and set of pedagogical debates which have beset higher education for the last four decades and is now revolutionizing the theory and praxis of higher education. This volume examines three of the dominant pedagogical theories within composition theory: expressivist, cognitivist, and social-constructivist and builds its critique on the fact that much of modern composition theory has focused on epistemological concerns while neglecting the ontological foundations of that which is being discussed. Critical Realism and Composition Theory offers an alternative approach to teaching composition. This problem-oriented alternative is designed to lead students beyond the abstract, contemplative description of a problem to an expanded understanding that shows that concerns for justice cannot be addressed intellectually without at the same time confronting the practical constraints that limiting powers of social institutions play in both defining a problem and its social solution.

Critical Realism

Author: Justin Cruickshank
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134402821
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Critical realism is a movement in philosophy and the human sciences most closely associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar. Since the publication of Bhaskars A Realist Theory of Science, critical realism has had a profound influence on a wide range of subjects. This reader makes accessible, in one volume, key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism. It explores the following themes: * transcendental realist * the theory of explanatory critique * dialectics * Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of science.

Critical Realism and Marxism

Author: Andrew Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134532660
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book examines the relationship between critical realism and Marxism. The authors argue that critical realism and Marxism have much to gain from each other. This is the first book to address the controversial debates between critical realism and Marxism, and it does so from a wide range if disciplines. The authors argue that whilst one book cannot answer all the questions about the relationship between critical realism and Marxism, this book does provide some significant answers. In doing so, Critical Realism and Marxism reveals a potentially fruitful relationship; deepens our understanding of the social world and makes an important contribution towards eliminating the barbarism that accompanies contemporary capitalism.

Studying Management Critically

Author: Mats Alvesson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1446222861
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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`An excellent source for graduate students, especially in the field of human resource development, who are exploring areas for future research of a critical nature' - Adult Education Quarterly Drawing upon a range of influential contemporary movements in the social sciences, primarily upon critical traditions, such as the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, this text provides a wide ranging analysis of management and its various specialisms. The book offers critical understandings of key areas of management theory and practice such as accounting, strategic management, marketing, business ethics and environmental management. It also examines the relations between power and discursive practices in the modern corporation; the role of architecture as a repressive and emancipatory force in organizations; gender and organizations and critical methodology for organizational research. Key issues of power/knowledge relations across these areas are addressed and new agendas both for these fields and for management studies as a whole are introduced. Contributing authors include: Mats Alvesson, Gibson Burrell, David Cooper, Karen Dale, Stan Deetz, Linda Forbes, John Forester, John Jermier, David Levy, Joanne Martin, Glenn Morgan, Martin Parker, Mike Power, Richard Loughlin and Hugh Willmott

Imperial Hygiene

Author: A. Bashford
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230508189
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This is a cultural history of borders, hygiene and race. It is about foreign bodies, from Victorian Vaccines to the pathologized interwar immigrant, from smallpox quarantine to the leper colony, from sexual hygiene to national hygiene to imperial hygiene. Taking British colonialism and White Australia as case studies, the book examines public health as spatialized biopolitical governance between 1850 and 1950. Colonial management of race dovetailed with public health into new boundaries of rule, into racialised cordons sanitaires .

Realist Social Theory

Author: Margaret Scotford 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.

Explaining Social Behavior

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316368564
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this new edition of his critically acclaimed book, Jon Elster examines the nature of social behavior, proposing choice as the central concept of the social sciences. Extensively revised throughout, the book offers an overview of key explanatory mechanisms, drawing on many case studies and experiments to explore the nature of explanation in the social sciences; an analysis of the mental states - beliefs, desires, and emotions - that are precursors to action; a systematic comparison of rational-choice models of behavior with alternative accounts, and a review of mechanisms of social interaction ranging from strategic behavior to collective decision making. A wholly new chapter includes an exploration of classical moralists and Proust in charting mental mechanisms operating 'behind the back' of the agent, and a new conclusion points to the pitfalls and fallacies in current ways of doing social science, proposing guidelines for more modest and more robust procedures.

The Empire of Civil Society

Author: Justin Rosenberg
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9780860916079
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Empire of Civil Society mounts a compelling critique of the orthodox “realist” theory of international relations and provides a historical-materialist approach to the international system. Opening with an interrogation of a number of classic realist works, the book rejects outright the goal of theorizing geopolitical systems in isolation from wider social structures. In a series of case studies—including Classical Greece, Renaissance Italy and the Portuguese and Spanish empires—Justin Rosenberg shows how the historical-materialist analysis of societies is a surer guide to understanding geopolitical systems than the technical theories of realist international relations. In each case, he draws attention to the correspondence between the form of the geopolitical system and the character of the societies composing it. In the final section of the book, the tools forged in these explorations are employed to analyze the contemporary international system, with striking results. Rosenberg demonstrates that the distinctive properties of the sovereign-states system are best understood as corresponding to the social structures of capitalist society. In this light, realism emerges as incapable of explaining what it has always insisted is the central feature of the international system—namely, the balance of power. On the other hand, it is argued that Marx's social theory of value, conventionally regarded as an account of hierarchical class domination, provides the deepest understanding of the core international relations theme of “anarchy.” Provocative and unconventional, The Empire of Civil Society brilliantly turns orthodox international relations on its head.