Structure Interaction and Social Theory RLE Social Theory

Author: Derek Layder
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650662
Format: PDF
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A central problem in contemporary social theory is that of providing an account of social interaction that does justice both to the self-monitoring capacities of the individuals involved and to the society that ‘frames’ the interaction. This book attempts to resolve this problem, arguing for an objectivist or ‘structuralist’ account which does not undervalue the importance of the indexical and negotiated aspects of interaction, and which takes seriously the Marxist-rationalist critique of empiricism and humanism and the associated idea that society should be treated as a supra-individual, preconstituted and constraining object of scientific analysis. First, Dr Layder pinpoints certain of the strengths and weaknesses of various schools of thought: social psychology (scrutinized in both its sociological and psychological forms), sociology, the Marxist-rationalist approach. Whilst rejecting the mechanistic or naively deterministic theories which are often associated with an objectivist stance, he argues that the productive activities of situated actors must be understood as existing in an articulated relationship with, and within, sets of preconstituted contextual constraints. This thesis is illustrated conceptually by the development of a framework which distinguishes two types and levels of social structure, with different modes of production and reproduction, and empirically by an analysis of aspects of interaction in the occupation of acting.

Sociological Theory in Use RLE Social Theory

Author: Kenneth Menzies
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317657195
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Central to most sociologists’ self-image is the claim that their theories are based on research. However, using a random sample of 680 articles appearing in major American, British and Canadian journals, Dr Menzies shows that in some areas of sociology the wide gap between theory and research means that much of sociological theory is virtually untested. He explains how theory is embodied in eight particular types of research, critically examines these research theories, and contrasts them with the positions of modern theorists. The sample of journal articles also permits a comparison of British, American and Canadian sociology. By contrasting on how researchers us theories, Dr Menzies is able to reassess several theories. For instance, symbolic interactionist research uses embedded causal claims and stands in a dialectical relationship to other sociological research, while the research version of conflict theory depends on external causes to explain social change. The implications of using statistical techniques like factor analysis and regression are also considered in relation to the form of explanation.

The Normative Structure of Sociology RLE Social Theory

Author: Hermann Strasser
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652320
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this provocative analysis of the central issues and developments in modern social theory, Dr Strasser contends that enquiry into the function, tasks and mission of sociology as a discipline can be understood only in relation to the subject's historical development. He believes that a discussion of the origin and intention of sociology, particularly in relation to the established social order, enables us to grasp fully the nature of sociological theory, both past and present. He maintains that a sociologist's own position in society, and consequently his views on its development and his way of expressing those views, will affect the theoretical position he takes up.

Advances in Social Theory and Methodology RLE Social Theory

Author: Karin Knorr Cetina
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652622
Format: PDF, Mobi
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After a period in which sociology was torn apart by the polarized claims of micro- and macro-methodology, an increasing number of sociologists are now attempting a fusion of the two approaches. In this volume, some of the most distinguished sociologists set out possible resolutions of the debate. Each of the chapters, placed in perspective by the editors’ prologue, approaches the problem from a unique angle. Aaron Cicourel argues for a macro-basis of social interaction; Randall Collins shows how the macro consists of an aggregate of micro-episodes; Troy Duster presents a methodological model for generating a systematic data base across different contexts of social action through his examination of the procedures governing screening for inherited disorders. Rom Harré launches a philosophical attack on what he sees as a spurious bifurcation of micro- and macro-levels. Anthony Giddens explores the problem of unintended consequences, and Gilles Fauconnier, through a depiction of Jesuitical casuistry, shows how vital clues to macro-structure can be elicited from the micro-phenomenon of language. Victor Lidz continues the language theme in his chapter on the implications of advances in linguistic theory for macro-systems theory. Niklas Luhmann illustrates the micro-macro problem by the communication about law in interaction systems. The theory of historical materialism is reassessed by Jürgen Habermas. Taking the example of Renault and electric vehicles, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour investigate how micro-actor status is attained and the sociologist’s involvement in this transformation. Finally, Pierre Bourdieu, writing on men and machines, analyses the historical imperatives that create the complex relation between man and his environment.

Deciphering Goffman

Author: Ramon Vargas Maseda
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317153979
Format: PDF, ePub
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Challenging the ‘classical’ conception of Goffman’s sociology, this book offers a new interpretation based on a comprehensive examination of previous interpretations and critical assessments of Goffman’s work. Epistemologically, the book acknowledges the important but overlooked influences of both pluralism and particularly of pragmatism, where not only Simmel but also James and Dewey played a pivotal role in his work, thus rooting Goffman’s thought in symbolic interactionism. With attention to two central theoretical principles underlying his work—the pertinence of studying social interaction as given and the need and warrant to study face-to-face interaction in its own right—the author presents a rigorous examination of Goffman’s own writings to uncover the clear and recognizable process of systematization that Goffman followed throughout. In this manner, the book reveals the structure of Goffman’s theory by way of mapping the main themes, topics, concepts, empirical referents, methodological principles and theoretical frameworks relevant to the structure of his thought. A fresh examination of the structure of Goffman’s work that sheds light on the core of his unique approach, this new study of one of the central figures of sociology constitutes an important contribution to scholarship in social theory and the history of sociology.

Studies in Social and Political Theory RLE Social Theory

Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650646
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The studies which comprise this book are essentially organized around a critical encounter with European social theory in its 'classical period' – i.e. from the middle years of the nineteenth century until the First World War – and have the aim of working out some of the implications of that encounter for the position and prospects of the social sciences today. The issues involved relate to the following series of problems: method and epistemology; social development and transformation; the origins of 'sociology' in nineteenth-century social theory; and the status of social science as critique. In each of these areas, Giddens develops views that challenge existing orthodoxies, and connects these ideas to a reconstruction of social theory in the contemporary era.

Talcott Parsons and the Social Image of Man RLE Social Theory

Author: Ken Menzies
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650557
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This account of Talcott Parsons’s work clarifies his basic concepts and sets out their correlation. Dr Menzies believes that the philosophy of science working within the confines of the analytic-synthetic distinction tends to provide a rigid, static and sterile account of theories. He presents a more dynamic account of the scientific enterprise in order to come to grips with the amorphous nature of theory, and to provide the basic framework for his analysis of Parsons. Menzies argues that Parsons’s central problematic in The Structure of Social Action is utilitarianism in general and the classical economists’ account of the rise of capitalism in particular, and as such the book is not a reconciliation of positivistic and idealistic elements and these run throughout his subsequent work. Two major strands in Parsons’s work – the social action theory and the systems theory (structural-functionalism) – are separated and examined individually.

Approaches to Sociology RLE Social Theory

Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652533
Format: PDF, Kindle
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These essays, commissioned by John Rex, reflect the state of sociology in Britain today. Leading representatives of the diverse ‘schools’ provide lucid accounts of their own particular approaches to this complex discipline and in doing so demonstrate the techniques described. Topics covered include the empirical study of stratification, social evolution, survey techniques, mathematical sociology, systems theory, phenomenological approaches, Weberian sociology, structuralism, contemporary Marxism, and the development of theory after Talcott Parsons.

Informality

Author: Barbara Misztal
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134730284
Format: PDF, Mobi
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For most of the twentieth century, modernity has been characterised by the formalisation of social relations as face to face interactions are replaced by impersonal bureaucracy and finance. As we enter the new millennium, however, it becomes increasingly clear that it is only by stepping outside these formal structures that trust and co-operation can be created and social change achieved. In a brilliant theoretical tour de force, illustrated with sustained case studies of changing societies in the former eastern Europe and of changing forms of interaction within so-called virtual communities, Barbara Misztal, argues that only the society that achieves an appropriate balance between the informality and formality of interaction will find itself in a position to move forward to further democratisation and an improved quality of life.

Functionalism Exchange and Theoretical Strategy RLE Social Theory

Author: Michael Mulkay
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651847
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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M.J. Mulkay traces the development of certain recent versions of functionalism and exchange theory in sociology, with special attention to 'theoretical strategy'. He uses this term to refer to the policies which theorists adopt to ensure that their work contributes to their long range theoretical objectives. Such strategies are important, he believes, because they place limits on the theories with which they are associated. He shows how each of the theorists he studies devised a new strategy to replace the unsuccessful policies of a prior theory in a process of 'strategical dialectic'. This often has unforeseen consequences for the direction of theoretical growth, and the author interprets changes in theoretical perspective largely as products of these strategical innovations.