Contemporary articles citing Joas H (1993) Pragmatism Social Th
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- Moody, Michael. 2008. "Serial Reciprocity: a Preliminary Statement." Sociological Theory. 26:2 130-151.
- Serial reciprocity exists when people reciprocate for what they have received-for example, from a parent, a friend, a mentor, a stranger, a previous generation-by providing something to a third party, regardless of whether a return is also given to, or makes its way back to, the original giver. To understand serial reciprocity as reciprocity, this article delineates the general features of the serial type of reciprocity and outlines two general situations in which serial reciprocity provides a viable option-the only or the most appropriate option-for reciprocal return. It also argues for a more fundamental rethinking of reciprocity in general. A more cognitive and cultural perspective on reciprocity is proposed that focuses on the meaning of exchanges and treats reciprocity as a socially constructed element of a culturally available repertoire. This can better account for the existing serial type of reciprocity. The article concludes with suggestions for empirical research.
- Hitlin, Steven & Glen Elder. 2007. "Time, Self, and the Curiously Abstract Concept of Agency." Sociological Theory. 25:2 170-191.
- The term ``agency'' is quite slippery and is used differently depending on the epistemological roots and goals of scholars who employ it. Distressingly, the sociological literature on the concept rarely addresses relevant social psychological research. We take a social behaviorist approach to agency by suggesting that individual temporal orientations are underutilized in conceptualizing this core sociological concept. Different temporal foci-the actor's engaged response to situational circumstances-implicate different forms of agency. This article offers a theoretical model involving four analytical types of agency (''existential,'' ``identity,''''pragmatic,'' and ``life course'') that are often conflated across treatments of the topic. Each mode of agency overlaps with established social psychological literatures, most notably about the self, enabling scholars to anchor overly abstract treatments of agency within established research literatures.
- Whipple, M. 2005. "The Dewey-lippmann Debate Today: Communication Distortions, Reflective Agency, and Participatory Democracy." Sociological Theory. 23:2 156-178.
- In this article, I introduce the Dewey-Lippmann democracy debate of the 1920s as a vehicle for considering how social theory can enhance the empirical viability of participatory democratic theory within the current context of advanced capitalism. I situate within this broad theoretical framework the theories of Habermas and Dewey. In the process, I argue (a) that while Dewey largely failed to reconcile his democratic ideal with the empirical constraint of large-scale organizations, Habermas, in particular his work on the public sphere, provides an important starting point for considering the state of public participation within the communication distortions of advanced capitalism; (b) that to fully understand the relation between communication distortions and public participation, social theorists must look beyond Habermas and return to Dewey to mobilize his bi-level view of habitual and reflective human agency; and, finally, (c) that the perspective of a Deweyan political theory of reflective agency best furthers our understanding of potential communication distortions and public participation, particularly in the empirical spaces of media centralization and intellectual property rights.
- Dalton, B. 2004. "Creativity, Habit, and the Social Products of Creative Action: Revising Joas, Incorporating Bourdieu." Sociological Theory. 22:4 603-622.
- Hans Joas's The Creativity of Action (1996) posits that conceiving of all action as fundamentally creative would overcome problems inherent in rational and normative theories of action and would provide an alternative basis for action-based theories of macrosociological phenomena. Joas conceives (of creativity as a response to the frustration of ``prereflective aspirations,'' which necessitates innovative adjustment to reestablish habitual intentions. This conceptualization creates an unsupportable duality between habitual action and creativity that neglects other possible sources of creative action, including habit itself. Combining strengths from Bourdiell's concept of habitus, creativity can be redefined as the necessary adaption of habitual practices to specific contexts of action. Creative action continually introduces novel possibilities in practical action and provokes a variety of social responses to its products. This revised concept of creativity overcomes the dichotomy presented by Joas, identifies a microsocial source of innovation in creative action, and calls attention to patterns of creative authority in society at large.
- Gross, N. 1997. "Durkheim's Pragmatism Lectures: a Contextual Interpretation." Sociological Theory. 15:2 126-149.
- This article attempts to understand Emile Durkheim's 1913-14 lectures on pragmatism and sociology by situating them in the socio-intellectual context of the time. An analysis of books and journal articles from the period reveals that the ideas of the Anglo-American pragmatic philosophers Charles Pierce, William James, John Dewey, and F.C.S. Schiller were very popular in pre-World War I France. The French term le pragmatisme, however, was used to refer not only to the thought of these philosophers, but also to the work of French thinkers, such as Henri Bergson and the Catholic Modernists Maurice Blondel and Edouard Le Roy, who wrote extensively about human action. Pragmatism, because of its associations with Bergsonian spiritualism and the theology of the Modernists, came to have religious connotations for many French intellectuals. Durkheim had a similar understanding of pragmatism and his critique of the pragmatists cannot be fully grasped unless these religious connotations are considered. The article concludes by discussing several implications of this interpretation for sociological theory.
- Rawls, AW. 1997. "Durkheim and Pragmatism: an Old Twist on a Contemporary Debate." Sociological Theory. 15:1 5-29.
- Durkheim's lectures on pragmatism, given in 1913-14, constitute both a significant critique of pragmatism and a clarification of Durkheim's own position. Unfortunately, these lectures have received little attention, most of it critical. When they have been taken seriously, the analysis tends to focus on their historical context and not on the details of Durkheim's actual argument. This is partly because the tendency to interpret Durkheim's theory of knowledge in idealist terms makes a nonsense of his criticisms of pragmatism. It is also due to a lack of serious appraisal of the lectures as series of arguments in their own right.
- Jones, MP. 1996. "Posthuman Agency: Between Theoretical Traditions." Sociological Theory. 14:3 290-309.
- With his recent introduction of ``posthumanism,'' a decentered variant of constructivist sociology of science, Andrew Pickering advertises novel conceptual resources for social theorists. fn fact, he tenders nothing less than a fundamental reordering of social thought. By invoking the concept of ``material agency,'' Pickering seeks to redefine the relationship between ``Nature `` and ``Society,'' while dismissing the ``humanist bias'' inherent in sociological inquiry. However, for all its ambition and good intentions, posthumanism delivers only analytical inconsistencies, the consequences of an uneasy synthesis of pragmatist and poststructuralist influences. When translated into the language of conventional sociological theory, these problems surface as an inadequate treatment of human agency The works of the original pragmatists, particularly C.S. Peirce and G.H. Mead, illustrate how the objectives of posthumanism can be achieved without decentering, suggesting a renewed appreciation of ``humanist'' sociologies.