Contemporary articles citing Fraser N (1989) Unruly Practices Pow
political, gender, action, society, contemporary, culture, feminist, concept, welfare, issues
- Orloff, Ann. 2009. "Gendering the Comparative Analysis of Welfare States: an Unfinished Agenda." Sociological Theory. 27:3 317-343.
- Can feminists count on welfare states-or at least some aspects of these complex systems-as resources in the struggle for gender equality ? Gender analysts of ``welfare states'' investigate this question and the broader set of issues around the mutually constitutive relationship between systems of social provision and regulation and gender. Feminist scholars have moved to bring the contingent practice of politics back into grounded fields of action and social change and away from the reification and abstractions that had come to dominate models of politics focused on ``big'' structures and systems, including those focused on ``welfare states.'' Conceptual innovations and reconceptualizations of foundational terms have been especially prominent in the comparative scholarship on welfare states, starting with gender, and including care, autonomy, citizenship, (in)dependence, political agency, and equality. In contrast to other subfields of political science and sociology, gendered insights have to some extent been incorporated into mainstream comparative scholarship on welfare states. The arguments between feminists and mainstream scholars over the course of the last two decades have been productive, powering the development of key themes and concepts pioneered by gender scholars, including ``defamilialization,'' the significance of unpaid care work in families and the difficulties of work-family ``reconciliation,'' gendered welfare state institutions, the relation between fertility and women's employment, and the partisan correlates of different family and gender policy models. Yet the mainstream still resists the deeper implications of feminist work, and has difficulties assimilating concepts of care, gendered power, dependency, and interdependency. Thus, the agenda of gendering comparative welfare state studies remains unfinished. To develop an understanding of what might be needed to finish that agenda, I assess the gendered contributions to the analysis of modern systems of social provision, starting with the concept of gender itself, then moving to studies of the gendered division of labor (including care) and of gendered political power.
- Ferree, Myra. 2009. "Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom." Sociological Theory. 27:1 75-80.
- Scott, Susie & Charles Thorpe. 2006. "The Sociological Imagination of R. D. Laing." Sociological Theory. 24:4 331-352.
- The work of psychiatrist R. D. Laing deserves recognition as a key contribution to sociological theory, in dialogue with the interactionist and interpretivist sociological traditions. Laing encourages us to identify meaningful social action in what would otherwise appear to be nonsocial phenomena. His interpretation of schizophrenia as a rational strategy of withdrawal reminds us of the threat that others can pose to the self and how social relations are implicated in even the most ``private'' and ``internal'' of experiences. He developed a far-reaching critical theory of the self in modern society, which challenges the medicalization and biochemical reduction of human problems. Using the case of shyness as an example, the article seeks to demonstrate the importance of Laing's theories for examining the fragility of the self in relation to contemporary social order.
- Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218.
- This paper addresses how New York City's workfare program has structural opportunities for collective action by welfare recipients. As workfare blurs the distinction between wage workers and welfare recipients, it calls into question accepted understandings of the rights and obligations of welfare recipients and fosters new claims on the state. The concept of ``cultural opportunity structures'' can help to explain the political mobilization of workfare participants if it is linked to a Durkheimian tradition of cultural analysis attentive to symbolic classification. The dramaturgic approach to culture exemplified in the work of Erving Goffman can usefully complement this structural approach if a narrow focus on frames and framing process is broadened to include interaction rituals and ceremonial profanation.
- Thistle, S. 2000. "The Trouble With Modernity: Gender and the Remaking of Social Theory." Sociological Theory. 18:2 275-288.
- There is continued frustration over the failure of established social theory to be altered despite dramatic developments in women's lives and feminist theory. I argue that this process has been blocked by an overly static conception of society and gender itself. Close examination of the actual circumstances of African American and white women in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States reveals the relationship between gender and economic and political development has been a dynamic historical one, culminating recently in a radical transformation of women's lives and work. I develop the implications of this argument for older analytic divisions between work and home, or productive and reproductive labor, and for recent shifts in theory. Coherent grasp of the events currently altering women's lives provides a clear way to join gender with earlier theoretical concerns, as another moment of social transformation brought about by a still-infolding process of economic and political development.
- Jacobs, RN & P Smith. 1997. "Romance, Irony, and Solidarity." Sociological Theory. 15:1 60-80.
- Contemporary social theory has turned increasingly to concepts such as civil society, community, and the public sphere in order to theorize about the construction of vital, democratic, and solidaristic political cultures. The dominant prescriptions for attaining this end invoke the need for institutional and procedural reform, but overlook the autonomous role of culture in shaping and defining the forms of social solidarity. This article proposes a model of solidarity based on the two genres of Romance and Irony, and argues that these narrative forms offer useful vocabularies for organizing public discourse within and between civil society and its constituent communities. Whilst unable to sustain fully-inclusive and solidaristic political cultures on their own, in combination the genres of Romance and Irony allow for solidaristic forms built around tolerance, reflexivity, and intersubjectivity.
- Alway, J. 1995. "The Trouble With Gender: Tales of the Still-missing Feminist Revolution in Sociological Theory." Sociological Theory. 13:3 209-228.
- Why do sociological theorists remain uninterested in and resistant to feminist theory? Notwithstanding indications of increasing openness to feminist theory, journals and texts on sociological theory reflect a continuing pattern of neglect. Identify reasons for this pattern; including tensions resulting from the introduction of gender as a central analytical category: Nor only does gender challenge the dichotomous categories that define sociology's boundaries and identity, it also displaces the discipline's central problematic of modernity. The significance of this displacement is apparent when the discipline's responses to feminist and postmodernist theory are compared I discuss the relevance of feminist theoretical work to contemporary issues in sociological theory, with specific attention to the synthetic nature of feminist theorizing to work on rethinking power resistance, and oppression, and to efforts to effect a conceptual shift from `'either/or'' to `'both/and'' thinking and to establish new grounds for assessing knowledge claims.
- Lichterman, P. 1995. "Beyond the Seesaw Model: Public Commitment in a Culture of Self-fulfillment." Sociological Theory. 13:3 275-300.
- Communitarian sociological theory and research of the past 30 years has often assumed that a growing culture of self-fulfillment, or `'personalism,'' is ultimately incompatible with commitment to the public good. This article argues that this `'seesaw model'' does not exhaust the possible relations between personalism and public commitment. It borrows insights from radical democratic theories to argue the existence of a form of public commitment that is enacted through, rather than impeded by, personalism. A cultural analysis that highlights everyday practices enables us to conceptualize this personalized form of public commitment, which goes unrecognized in communitarian accounts, and which gets discussed only in formal theoretical or social-psychological, terms in radical democratic theories. A case example of personalized public commitment in recent grass-roots environmentalism illustrates the limits in the seesaw model and speaks back to radical democratic theories of public commitment by illuminating how the individualized commitment they theorize may work in everyday cultural practice. I conclude with suggestions for further theoretical work on personalism.