By Roger A Sibeon
Roger Sibeon's certain new ebook kinds a part of a flow in the direction of what many others have often called the `return' to sociological concept and approach. delivering either description and critique of up to date theoretical and illustrative empirical fabrics, the target of this publication is a renewal of sociology and social idea that may facilitate precious social wisdom that contributes to an knowing of the sensible difficulties of constructing experience of social thought.
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Roger Sibeon's specific new booklet kinds a part of a circulate in the direction of what many others have often called the `return' to sociological idea and process. supplying either description and critique of up to date theoretical and illustrative empirical fabrics, the aim of this e-book is a renewal of sociology and social conception that may facilitate beneficial social wisdom that contributes to an figuring out of the sensible difficulties of constructing experience of social thought.
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Extra info for Rethinking Social Theory
Bourdieu, for all his references to the importance of agency, is ultimately committed to a deterministic view of agency; his version of what he calls ‘constructivist structuralism’ is much closer to structuralism than to constructivism. For example, Bourdieu (1984: 110) believes actors’ dispositions are largely determined by the social positions they occupy and by their ‘habitus’ (this is defined by Bourdieu as tacit knowledge, derived from life experience, which actors habitually draw upon). Having briefly identified a number of classical and contemporary macrostructural perspectives that tend to downplay the micro-social order and to neglect subjectivity, agency, and intersubjectivity, it is important to note that adoption of a macro-social approach does not necessarily mean that agency will be neglected or viewed in purely deterministic terms.
Even in what Albrow refers to as ‘the global age’, where the significance of relations associated with place, community, and family is often said to be in decline, face-to-face relations ‘still matter’ (Albrow, 1996: 138, 167).
However, unlike structuralist linguistics, discourse theory also draws upon poststructural and postmodern theory and it is argued that discourses (and societies) are never ‘closed’ – there are no ‘fixed’ or stable meanings – but rather, they exist in a state of endless reformulation and flux. Incorporated within discourse theory, then, are the following poststructuralist propositions: there is no pre-discursive social reality and therefore no benchmark against which we can empirically test the veracity of competing discourses or representations of ‘reality’ (rather, what counts as ‘truth’ is, as, for example, Foucault insisted, a matter of politics, power and rights to define the world); any discourses which attempt to convey a sense of ‘the real world’ are arbitrary, and endlessly reformulable; and actors’ forms of thought and actions are effects or products of discourses.