Contemporary articles citing Giddens A (1984) Constitution Soc

action, concept, approach, sociological, change, them, agency, bourdieu, bourdieu's, order

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Samuli Poyhonen. 2012. "Looping Kinds and Social Mechanisms." Sociological Theory. 30:3 187-205. Link
Human behavior is not always independent of the ways in which humans are scientifically classified. That there are looping effects of human kinds has been used as an argument for the methodological separation of the natural and the human sciences and to justify social constructionist claims. We suggest that these arguments rely on false presuppositions and present a mechanisms-based account of looping that provides a better way to understand the phenomenon and its theoretical and philosophical implications.

Colyvas, Jeannette & Stefan Jonsson. 2011. "Ubiquity and Legitimacy: Disentangling Diffusion and Institutionalization." Sociological Theory. 29:1 27-53. Link
Diffusion and institutionalization are of prime sociological importance, as both processes unfold at the intersections of relations and structures, as well as persistence and change. Yet they are often confounded, leading to theoretical and methodological biases that hinder the development of generalizable arguments. We look at diffusion and institutionalization distinctively, each as both a process and an outcome in terms of three dimensions: the objects that flow or stick; the subjects who adopt or influence; and the social settings through which an innovation travels. We offer examples to flesh out these dimensions, and formulate testable propositions from our analytic framework that could lead to further theoretical refinement and progress.

Atkinson, Will. 2010. "Phenomenological Additions to the Bourdieusian Toolbox: Two Problems for Bourdieu, Two Solutions From Schutz." Sociological Theory. 28:1 1-19.
In constructing his renowned theory of practice, Pierre Bourdieu claimed to have integrated the key insights from phenomenology and successfully melded them with objectivist analysis. The contention here, however, is that while his vision of the social world may indeed be generally laudable, he did not take enough from phenomenology. More specifically, there are two concepts in Alfred Schutz's body of work, which, if properly defined, disentangled from phenomenology, and appropriated, allow two frequently forwarded criticisms of Bourdieu's perspective to be overcome: on the one hand, a particular interpretation of the concept of lifeworld can remedy identified weaknesses on the problem of individuation; while on the other hand, Schutz's notion of the stock of knowledge can rectify Bourdieu's overly nonconscious depiction of agency. Given my overall support for Bourdieu's scheme and the fact that the extant criticisms on these two grounds are often excessive and obfuscatory, both the suggested elaborations will be prefaced by a clarificatory partial defense of his position.

Reay, Mike. 2010. "Knowledge Distribution, Embodiment, and Insulation." Sociological Theory. 28:1 91-107.
This article looks at how parts of a social stock of knowledge can become insulated from each other via their uneven distribution both ``horizontally'' across time and space, and ``vertically'' with respect to degrees of embodiment in unconscious habits and routines. It uses ideas from Alfred Schutz, Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann, Michael Polanyi, and others to argue that this insulation can produce a highly dynamic structuring of knowledge, awareness of which has the potential to help explain the existence of ignorance, misperception, and multiple interpretations in different social settings. This potential is illustrated with examples taken from a study of American economists, showing how an approach considering insulation can improve understanding of at least one currently influential branch of knowledge. The article also suggests briefly how such an approach might augment recent theories of habitual action by accounting for both stability and change, and even help with some longstanding epistemological problems in social theory.

Campbell, Colin. 2009. "Distinguishing the Power of Agency From Agentic Power: a Note on Weber and the ``black Box'' of Personal Agency*." Sociological Theory. 27:4 407-418.
The concept of agency, although central to many sociological debates, has remained frustratingly elusive to pin down. This article is an attempt to open up what has been called the ``black box'' of personal agency by distinguishing clearly between two contrasting conceptions of the phenomenon. These two conceptions are very apparent in the manner in which the concept is defined in sociological reference works, resembling as it does a similar contrast in the treatment of the concept of power. The two are referred to as type 1 and type 2 or the power of agency as compared with agentic power, the essential contrast being that the first refers to an actor's ability to initiate and maintain a program of action while the second refers to an actor's ability to act independently of the constraining power of social structure. The nature of these two forms of personal agency is then illustrated by referring to material taken from Weber's essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, this essay itself being understood as an argument that focuses on the crucial role played by an increase in the power of agency in ushering in the modern world. Finally, it is argued that these two conceptions of agency possess no given logical relationship with each other, it being perfectly possible for individuals to be possessed of considerable power of agency while lacking agentic power, and vice versa. It is therefore concluded that it is important, in all discussions of human agency, to distinguish clearly between these two forms.

Elder-Vass, Dave. 2007. "Reconciling Archer and Bourdieu in an Emergentist Theory of Action." Sociological Theory. 25:4 325-346. Link
Margaret Archer and Pierre Bourdieu have advanced what seem at first sight to be incompatible theories of human agency. While Archer places heavy stress on conscious reflexive deliberation and the consequent choices of identity and projects that individuals make, Bourdieu's concept of habitus places equally heavy stress on the role of social conditioning in determining our behavior, and downplays the contribution of conscious deliberation. Despite this, I argue that these two approaches, with some modification, can be reconciled in a single emergentist theory of human action that is sketched out in this article. It examines how human dispositions and our reflexive decisions are related to the determination of human action, linking dispositions and decisions to their neural base in human physiology and to the social factors that influence them. As a result, it argues, we can see human action as the outcome of a continuous interaction between dispositions and reflexivity. The article goes on to relate this explanation back to Bourdieu's concept of the habitus and Archer's account of reflexivity. It argues that the weaknesses in Bourdieu's theory of action can be resolved by a reasonable reinterpretation of the habitus that makes it consistent with the emergentist theory and creates space for human choices as well as social influences on our behavior. This opens up a role for the sort of reflexive deliberations advocated by Archer and thus to a reconciliation of the key contributions of both Archer and Bourdieu.

Garcelon, Marc. 2006. "Trajectories of Institutional Disintegration in Late-soviet Russia and Contemporary Iraq." Sociological Theory. 24:3 255-283. Link
How might revolutions and other processes of institutional disintegration inform political processes preceding them ? By mapping paths of agency through processes of institutional disintegration, the trajectory improvisation model of institutional breakdown overcomes ``action-structure'' binaries by framing political revolutions as possible outcomes of such disintegrative processes. The trajectory improvisation approach expands the trajectory adjustment model of social change developed by Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi, and Eleanor Townsley. An overview of political revolution in Soviet Russia between 1989 and 1991 illustrates trajectory improvisation. The recent American invasion and occupation of Iraq shows alternative routes to institutional disintegration, indicating the independence of models of institutional breakdown from those of social movements. These cases illustrate both the diversity of situations the trajectory improvisation model speaks to, and the limitation of models of trajectory adjustment, improvisation, social movements, and invasions, illustrating why such models at best enable what are called ``explanatory narratives'' of actual historical processes.

Kennedy, MD. 2004. "Evolution and Event in History and Social Change: Gerhard Lenski's Critical Theory." Sociological Theory. 22:2 315-327. Link
Authors have contrasted social change and history many times, especially in terms of the significance of the event in accounting for the broadest contours of human societies' evolution. After recasting Gerhard Lenski's ecological-evolutionary theory in a critical fashion, by emphasizing its engagement with alternativity and by introducing a different approach to structure, I reconsider the salience of the event in the developmentalist project and suggest that ecological-evolutionary theory can be quite helpful in posing new questions about an eventful sociology. By rethinking communism's collapse in 1989 and terrorism's explosion in 2001 within Lenski's theoretical frame, one can suggest critical transformations of theory and research on the evolution of human societies.

Hallett, T. 2003. "Symbolic Power and Organizational Culture." Sociological Theory. 21:2 128-149. Link
With the recent wave of corporate scandals, organizational culture has regained relevance in politics and the media, However, to acquire enduring utility, the concept needs an overhaul to overcome the weaknesses of earlier approaches. As such, this paper reconceptualizes organizational culture as a negotiated order (Strauss 1978) that emerges through interactions between participants, an order influenced by those with the symbolic power to define the situation. I stress the complementary contributions of theorists of,practice (Bourdieu and Swidler) and theorists of interaction (Goffman and Strauss), building upward from practice into interaction, symbolic power, and the negotiated order. Using data from initial reports on the fall of Arthur Andersen and Co., I compare this symbolic power approach to other approaches (culture as subjective beliefs and values or as context/public meaning). The symbolic power model has five virtues: an empirically observable object of study; the capacity to explain conflict and integration; the ability to explain stability and change; causal efficacy; and links between the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels of analysis. Though this paper focuses on organizational culture, the symbolic power model provides theoretical leverage for understanding many situated contexts.

Fligstein, N. 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields." Sociological Theory. 19:2 105-125. Link
The problem of the relationship between actors and the social structures in which they are embedded is central to sociological theory. This paper suggests that the ``new institutionalist ``focus on fields, domains, or games provides an alternative view of how to think about this problem by focusing on the construction of loca( orders. This paper criticizes the conception of actors in both rational choice and sociological versions of these theories. A more sociological view of action, what is called ``social skill,'' is developed. The idea of social skill originates in symbolic interactionism and is defined as the ability to induct cooperation in others. This idea is elaborated to suggest how actors are important to the construction and reproduction of local orders. I show how, its elements already inform existing work. Finally I show how the idea can sensitize scholars to the role of actors in empirical work.

Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218. Link
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.

Kamolnick, P. 2001. "Simmel's Legacy for Contemporary Value Theory: a Critical Assessment." Sociological Theory. 19:1 65-85. Link
In this essay I critically assess Georg Simmel's legacy for contemporary value theory and provide the rudiments of an alternative approach. My central thesis is that Simmel fails to satisfactorily, conceptualize the nature ann origin of value because of his duration to an asocial, Cartesian-Kantian conception of mind, human freedom, anti agency. In contrast. I incorporate recent data from neuroscience, social self theory, developmental psychology: and elements of Marx's theory of the commodity form to provide the terms of a postmetaphysical, intersubjective alternative.

King, A. 2000. "Thinking With Bourdieu Against Bourdieu: a `practical' Critique of the Habitus." Sociological Theory. 18:3 417-433. Link
There are two strands in Bourclieu's sociological writings. On the one hand Bourdieu argues for a theoretical position one might term his `practical theory'' which emphasizes virtuosic interactions between individuals. On the other hand, and most frequently, Bourdieu appeals to the concept of the habitus according to which society consists of objective structures and determined-and isolated-individuals. Although Bourdieu believes that the habitus is compatible with his practical theory and overcomes the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism in social theory, neither claim is the case; the habitus is incompatible with his practical theory, and it retreats quickly into objectivism. However Bourdieu's practical theory does offer a way out of the impasse of objectivism and subjectivism by focussing on the intersubjective interactions between individuals.

Eliasoph, N & P Lichterman. 1999. "``we Begin With Our Favorite Theory ...'': Reconstructing the Extended Case Method." Sociological Theory. 17:2 228-234. Link

Camic, C. 1998. "Reconstructing the Theory of Action." Sociological Theory. 16:3 283-291. Link

Burawoy, M. 1998. "The Extended Case Method." Sociological Theory. 16:1 4-33. Link
In this article I elaborate and codify the extended case method. which deploys participant observation to locate everyday life in its extralocal and historical context. The extended case method emulates a reflexive model of science that takes as its premise the intersubjectivity of scientist and subject of study: Reflexive science valorizes intervention, process, structuration, and theory reconstruction. It is the Siamese twin of positive science that proscribes reactivity but upholds reliability replicability, and representativeness. Positive science, exemplified by survey research, works on the principle of the separation between scientists and the subjects they examine. Positive science is limited by ``context effects'' (interview: respondent, field, and situational effects) while reflex ive science is limited by ``power effects'' (domination, silencing, objectification, and normalization). The article concludes by considering the implications of having two models of science rather than one, both of which are necessarily flawed. Throughout I use a study of postcolonialism to illustrate both the virtues and the shortcomings of the extended case method. Methodology can only bring us reflective understanding of the means which have demonstrated their value in practice by raising them to the level of explicit consciousness; it is no more the precondition of fruitful intellectual work than the knowledge of anatomy is the precondition of ``correct'' walking.

Kane, AE. 1997. "Theorizing Meaning Construction in Social Movements: Symbolic Structures and Interpretation During the Irish Land War, 1879-1882." Sociological Theory. 15:3 249-276. Link
Though the process of meaning construction is widely recognized to be a crucial factor in the mobilization, unfolding, and outcomes of social movements, the conditions and mechanisms that allow meaning construction and cultural transformation are often misconceptualized and/or underanalyzed. Following a ``tool kit'' perspective on culture, dominant social movement theory locates meaning only as it is embodied in concrete social practices. Meaning construction from this perspective is a matter of manipulating static symbols and meaning to achieve goals. I argue instead that meaning is located in the structure of culture, and that the condition and mechanism of meaning construction and transformation are, respectively, the metaphoric nature of symbolic systems, and individual and collective interpretation of those systems in the face of concrete events. This theory is demonstrated by analyzing, through textual analysis, meaning construction during the Irish Land War 1879-1882, showing how diverse social groups constructed new and emergent symbolic meanings and how transformed collective understandings contributed to specific, yet unpredictable, political action and movement outcomes. The theoretical model and empirical case demonstrates that social movement analysis must examine the metaphoric logic of symbolic systems and the interpretive process by which people construct meaning in order to fully explain the role of culture in social movements, the agency of movement participants, and the contingency of the course and outcomes of social movements.

COHEN, IJ & MF ROGERS. 1994. "Autonomy and Credibility - Voice as Method." Sociological Theory. 12:3 304-318. Link
Although little noticed by practicing theorists, narrative voice influences theoretical work. This essay presents a demonstration of voice as method, concentrating on brief segments of works by Garfinkel and Goffman. We attend to two methodological themes: how theorists use voice to establish intellectual autonomy, and how the use of voice influences credibility with readers. Garfinkel maximizes his autonomy by using narrative techniques that isolate him from his readers, and produce little common context with them as a result. Goffman maintains a context for credibility with his readers by using a personal voice, but he uses this voice to request their indulgence as he follows his autonomous muse. Goffman's narrative self-indulgence prevents him from fashioning a coherent theoretical program for his readers, something Garfinkel's distant voice enables him to achieve.

KUBIK, J. 1994. "Who Done It - Workers, Intellectuals, or Someone Else - Controversy Over Solidaritys Origins and Social Composition." Theory and Society. 23:3 441-466. Link

BRENNER, N. 1994. "Foucault New Functionalism." Theory and Society. 23:5 679-709. Link

Beckert, J. 1996. "What Is Sociological About Economic Sociology? Uncertainty and the Embeddedness of Economic Action." Theory and Society. 25:6 803-840. Link

Mohr, JW & V Duquenne. 1997. "The Duality of Culture and Practice: Poverty Relief in New York City, 1888-1917." Theory and Society. 26:2-3 305-356. Link

Bell, MM. 1997. "The Ghosts of Place." Theory and Society. 26:6 813-836.

Morawska, E. 2001. "Structuring Migration: the Case of Polish Income-seeking Travelers to the West." Theory and Society. 30:1 47-80. Link

Widick, R. 2003. "Flesh and the Free Market: (on Taking Bourdieu to the Options Exchange)." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 679-723. Link
On the options trading floor at the Pacific Exchange in San Francisco, traders spend their days ``making markets'' in option contracts, a mentally and bodily intense practice that requires the acquisition of a series of embodied knowledges specific to the occupation. In this article, I report on field research conducted at the exchange, during which I explored the cultural turn of practice theory to the body. Taking direction from Pierre Bourdieu's changing descriptions of habitus, field, and practical action, I argue that the logic of trading does proceed to some extent beneath the level of reflexive application of the rules of the game; but my encounter with traders' talk, their cultural production, and their gendered performance led my interpretation of this unconscious dimension beyond the limits of cognitivist metaphors for knowledgeable bodies toward an identificatory logic of practice. Whereas Bourdieu stopped short of taking practice theory all the way in to psychoanalysis, I found the imaginary order it brings into the picture decisive in shaping the experience of trading.

Brubaker, R, M Loveman & P Stamatov. 2004. "Ethnicity as Cognition." Theory and Society. 33:1 31-64. Link
This article identifies an incipient and largely implicit cognitive turn in the study of ethnicity, and argues that it can be consolidated and extended by drawing on cognitive research in social psychology and anthropology. Cognitive perspectives provide resources for conceptualizing ethnicity, race, and nation as perspectives on the world rather than entities in the world, for treating ethnicity, race, and nationalism together rather than as separate subfields, and for re-specifying the old debate between primordialist and circumstantialist approaches.

Riain, Sean. 2006. "Time-space Intensification: Karl Polanyi, the Double Movement, and Global Informational Capitalism." Theory and Society. 35:5-6 507-528. Link
This article advances the concept of ``time-space intensification'' as an alternative to existing notions of time-space distanciation, compression and embedding that attempt to capture the restructuring of time and space in contemporary advanced capitalism. This concept suggests time and space are intensified in the contemporary period the social experience of time and space becomes more explicit and more crucial to socioeconomic actors' lives, time and space are mobilized more explicitly in individual and corporate action, and the institutionalization of time and space becomes more politicized. Drawing on Polanyi's concepts of fictitious commodities and the double movement, and developing them through an analysis of work organization and economic development in the Irish software industry, the article argues that the concept of time-space intensification can add significantly to our understanding of key features of the restructuring of the temporal and spatial basis of economic development and work organization.

Pinch, Trevor. 2008. "Technology and Institutions: Living in a Material World." Theory and Society. 37:5 461-483. Link
This article addresses the relationship between technology and institutions and asks whether technology itself is an institution. The argument is that social theorists need to attend better to materiality: the world of things and objects of which technical things form an important class. It criticizes the new institutionalism in sociology for its failure to sufficiently open up the black box of technology. Recent work in science and technology studies (S\&TS) and in particular the sociology of technology is reviewed as another route into dealing with technology and materiality. The recent ideas in sociology of technology are exemplified with the author's study of the development of the electronic music synthesizer.

Berk, Gerald & Dennis Galvan. 2009. "How People Experience and Change Institutions: a Field Guide to Creative Syncretism." Theory and Society. 38:6 543-580. Link
This article joins the debate over institutional change with two propositions. First, all institutions are syncretic, that is, they are composed of an indeterminate number of features, which are decomposable and recombinable in unpredictable ways. Second, action within institutions is always potentially creative, that is, actors draw on a wide variety of cultural and institutional resources to create novel combinations. We call this approach to institutions creative syncretism. This article is in three parts. The first shows how existing accounts of institutional change, which are rooted in structuralism, produce excess complexity and render the most important sources and results of change invisible. We argue that in order to ground the theory of creative syncretism we need a more phenomenological approach, which explains how people live institutional rules. We find that grounding in John Dewey's pragmatist theory of habit. The second part of the article explains Dewey and shows how the theory of habit can ground an experiential account of institutional rules. The third part presents a field guide to creative syncretism. It uses an experiential approach to provide novel insights on three problems that have occupied institutionalist research: periodization in American political development, convergence among advanced capitalist democracies, and institutional change in developing countries.

Ghaziani, Amin. 2009. "An ``amorphous Mist''? the Problem of Measurement in the Study of Culture." Theory and Society. 38:6 581-612. Link
Sociological studies of culture have made significant progress on conceptual clarification of the concept, while remaining comparatively quiescent on questions of measurement. This study empirically examines internal conflicts (or ``infighting''), a ubiquitous phenomenon in political organizing, to propose a ``resinous culture framework'' that holds promise for redirection. The data comprise 674 newspaper articles and more than 100 archival documents that compare internal dissent across two previously unstudied lesbian and gay Marches on Washington. Analyses reveal that activists use infighting as a vehicle to engage in otherwise abstract definitional debates that provide concrete answers to questions such as who are we and what do we want. The mechanism that enables infighting to concretize these cultural concerns is its coupling with fairly mundane and routine organizational tasks. This mechanism affords one way to release the culture concept, understood here as collective self-definitions, from being ``an amorphous, indescribable mist which swirls around society members,'' as it was once provocatively described.

Lizardo, Omar. 2010. "Beyond the Antinomies of Structure: Levi-strauss, Giddens, Bourdieu, and Sewell." Theory and Society. 39:6 651-688. Link
In this article, I attempt to address some enduring problems in formulation and practical use of the notion of structure in contemporary social science. I begin by revisiting the question of the fidelity of Anthony Giddens' appropriation of the idea of structure with respect to Levi-Strauss. This requires a reconsideration of Levi-Strauss' original conceptualization of ``social structure'' which I argue is a sort of ``methodological structuralism'' that stands sharply opposed to Giddens' ontological reconceptualization of the notion. I go on to show that Bourdieu's contemporaneous critique of Levi-Strauss is best understood as an attempt to recover rather than reject the central implication of Levi-Strauss' methodological structuralism, which puts Bourdieu and Giddens on clearly distinct camps in terms of their approach toward the idea of structure. To demonstrate the-insurmountable-conceptual difficulties inherent in the ontological approach, I proceed by critically examining what I consider to be the most influential attempt to resolve the ambiguities in Giddens structuration theory: Sewell's argument for the ``duality of structure.'' I show that by retaining Giddens' ontological focus, Sewell ends up with a notion of structure that is at its very core ``anti-structuralist'' or only structuralist in a weak sense. I close by considering the implications of the analysis for the possibility of developing the rather neglected ``methodological structuralist'' legacy in contemporary social analysis.

Gemici, Kurtulus. 2012. "Uncertainty, the Problem of Order, and Markets: a Critique of Beckert, Theory and Society, May 2009." Theory and Society. 41:1 107-118. Link
Jens Beckert's 2009 article on the constitution and dynamics of markets is a bold attempt to define a novel research agenda. Deeming uncertainty and coordination essential for the constitution of social action in markets, Beckert proposes a framework centered on the resolution of three coordination problems: valuation, cooperation, and competition. The empirical study of these three coordination problems has the potential to contribute considerably to the sociological analysis of markets. However, the assertion that such a theoretical vantage point can explain the constitution and dynamics of markets is not compelling because it (1) conflates social interaction with social structures, (2) fails to address power relations, institutions, and macro-level structures, and (3) neglects the historically contingent and socially contested nature of markets themselves. The present article shows that these three pitfalls are the result of starting from the problem of order and building upon uncertainty as the basis of action in markets, lending the suggested framework a methodologically individualist bent. Therefore, Beckert's suggested framework is in danger of mystifying the very power relations, institutions, and macro-level structures that are at the heart of the constitution and dynamics of markets.