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Making our Way through the World: Human Reflexivity and Social Mobility

Making our Way through the World: Human Reflexivity and Social Mobility

by Margaret S. Archer


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How do we reflect upon ourselves and our concerns in relation to society, and vice versa? Human reflexivity works through 'internal conversations' using language, but also emotions, sensations and images. Most people acknowledge this 'inner-dialogue' and can report upon it. However, little research has been conducted on 'internal conversations' and how they mediate between our ultimate concerns and the social contexts we confront. In this book, Margaret Archer argues that reflexivity is progressively replacing routine action in late modernity, shaping how ordinary people make their way through the world. Using interviewees' life and work histories, she shows how 'internal conversations' guide the occupations people seek, keep or quit; their stances towards structural constraints and enablements; and their resulting patterns of social mobility.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521696937
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/14/2007
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Margaret S. Archer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. She has written over twenty books including Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation (2003) and Being Human: The Problem of Agency (Cambridge, 2000).

Table of Contents

Introduction. Reflexivity: the unacknowledged condition of social life; Part I: 1. Reflexivity's biographies; 2. Reflexivity in action; 3. Reflexivity and working at social positioning; Part II: Introduction: how 'contexts' and 'concerns' shape internal conversations; 4. Communicative reflexives: working at staying-put; 5. Autonomous reflexives: upward and outward bound; 6. Meta-reflexives: moving on; Part III: 7. Internal conversations and their outworks; Conclusion. Reflexivity's future; Methodological appendix.

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