Structure and agency
About: Structure and agency is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 1265 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 63660 citation(s).
Papers published on a yearly basis
01 Jan 1984
TL;DR: Giddens as discussed by the authors has been in the forefront of developments in social theory for the past decade and 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.
Abstract: 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' 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.
01 Sep 1997-Social Forces
TL;DR: The Morphogenetic Cycle: the basis of the morphogenetic approach 7. Structural and cultural conditioning 8. The morphogenesis of agency 9. Social elaboration.
Abstract: Building on her seminal contribution to social theory in Culture and Agency, in this 1995 book Margaret Archer develops her morphogenetic approach, applying it to the problem of structure and agency. Since structure and agency constitute different levels of stratified social reality, each possesses distinctive emergent properties which are real and causally efficacious but irreducible to one another. The problem, therefore, is shown to be how to link the two rather than conflate them, as has been common theoretical practice. Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach not only rejects methodological individualism and holism, but argues that the debate between them has been replaced by a new one, between elisionary theorising and emergentist theories based on a realist ontology of the social world. The morphogenetic approach is the sociological complement of transcendental realism, and together they provide a basis for non-conflationary theorizing which is also of direct utility to the practising social analyst.
•01 Jan 2003
TL;DR: Archer as discussed by the authors identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation, i.e., internal dialogue, internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency.
Abstract: The central problem of social theory is 'structure and agency'. How do the objective features of society influence human agents? Determinism is not the answer, nor is conditioning as currently conceptualised. It accentuates the way structure and culture shape the social context in which individuals operate, but it neglects our personal capacity to define what we care about most and to establish a modus vivendi expressive of our concerns. Through inner dialogue, 'the internal conversation', individuals reflect upon their social situation in the light of current concerns and projects. On the basis of a series of unique, in-depth interviews, Archer identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation. These govern agents' responses to social conditioning, their individual patterns of social mobility and whether or not they contribute to social stability or change. Thus the internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency.
Abstract: The debate on migration and development has swung back and forth like a pendulum, from developmentalist optimism in the 1950s and 1960s, to neo-Marxist pessimism over the 1970s and 1980s, towards more optimistic views in the 1990s and 2000s. This paper argues how such discursive shifts in the migration and development debate should be primarily seen as part of more general paradigm shifts in social and development theory. However, the classical opposition between pessimistic and optimistic views is challenged by empirical evidence pointing to the heterogeneity of migration impacts. By integrating and amending insights from the new economics of labor migration, livelihood perspectives in development studies and transnational perspectives in migration studies – which share several though as yet unobserved conceptual parallels – this paper elaborates the contours of a conceptual framework that simultaneously integrates agency and structure perspectives and is therefore able to account for the heterogeneous nature of migration-development interactions. The resulting perspective reveals the naivety of recent views celebrating migration as self-help development “from below”. These views are largely ideologically driven and shift the attention away from structural constraints and the vital role of states in shaping favorable conditions for positive development impacts of migration to occur.
•02 Dec 2009
TL;DR: Archer as discussed by the authors argues that people in their daily lives feel a genuine freedom of thought and belief, yet this is unavoidably constrained by cultural limitations, such as those imposed by the language spoken, the knowledge developed and the information available at any time.
Abstract: People are inescapably shaped by the culture in which they live, while culture itself is made and remade by people. Human beings in their daily lives feel a genuine freedom of thought and belief, yet this is unavoidably constrained by cultural limitations--such as those imposed by the language spoken, the knowledge developed and the information available at any time. In this book, Margaret Archer provides an analysis of the nature and stringency of cultural constraints, and the conditions and degrees of cultural freedom, and offers a radical new explanation of the tension between them. She suggests that the "problem of culture and agency" directly parallels the "problem of structure and agency," and that both problems can be solved by using the same analytical framework. She therefore paves the way toward the theoretical unification of the structural and cultural fields.
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