Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversationby Margaret S. Archer
Pub. Date: 08/28/2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A central question of social theory is: How do society's objective features influence its members to reproduce or transform society through their actions? This volume examines how objective social conditioning is mediated by the subjective reflexivity of individuals. On the basis of a series of in-depth interviews, Margaret Archer identifies the mediatory mechanism as "internal conversations" that are expressed in forms governing agents' responses to social conditioning, their individual patterns of social mobility, and whether or not they contribute to social stability or change.
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Table of ContentsIntroduction: how does structure influence agency?; Part I. Solitude and Society: 1. The private life of the social subject; 2. From introspection to internal conversation: an unfinished journey in three stages; 3. Reclaiming the internal conversation; 4. The process of mediation between structure and agency; Part II. Modes of Reflexivity and Stances Towards Society: 5. Communicative reflexives; 6. Autonomous reflexives; 7. Meta-reflexives; 8. Fractured reflexives; Conclusion: personal powers and social powers.
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