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Actions and Structure

Actions and Structure
Research Methods and Social Theory

Edited by:

October 1988 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Social scientists have always recognized a divergence between approaches which emphasize the constraining power of social structure and those which interpret society through the cumulative effects of the actions of individuals. In recent years there has been renewed interest in the latter through the micro-sociology of everyday life. Social scientists are now taking stock of the implications of such research for the analysis of structure. In Actions and Structure a distinguished team of social theorists assesses the value of research on individual's actions in everyday life for the analysis of social order. Individual chapters evaluate new research approaches from discourse and conversational analysis, mathematical, interactionist and phenomenological sociologies and network analysis. Throughout they assess how these approaches contribute to current debates around theories of organization, structure, and power. Particular attention is paid to Giddens concept of structuration and its critics from morphogenetic, cultural and systems perspectives. As a substantial contribution to current debates in sociology, this book will appeal to social scientists involved in social theory, sociological research and sociological methodology.

Nigel Fielding
Between Micro and Macro
Karin Knorr-Cetina
The Micro-Social Order
Wes Sharrock and Rod Watson
Autonomy Among Social Theories
Peter K Manning
Semiotics and Social Theory
Paul Rock
Micro-Sociology and Power
Colin Clark and Trevor Pinch
Micro-Sociology and Micro-Economics
John Brewer
Micro-Sociology and the `Duality of Structure'
John Scott and Peter Cowley
Individual and Social Connections
Peter Abell
The `Structuration' of Action
Nigel Fielding
Micro-Sociology and Macro Theory

`This collection takes on issues of the first importance for sociology. The opening 'theory' chapters attempt to refine our understanding of the ontological configurations involved in perceiving structure and agency as a duality. Then comes the great novelty of the work in that the remaining papers address the issue of how knowledge of this duality should inform empirical research.... at the micro level there is knowledgeability in abundance here and Fielding and SAGE are to be congratulated for getting it out.' - Sociology