Sociological Terms - Structure and Agency

Structure and Agency

Structure and agency, form an enduring ontological debate in social theory: "Do social structures determine an individual's behaviour or does human agency?" In this context 'agency' refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and make free choices, whereas 'structure' relates to factors which limit or affect the choices and actions of individuals (such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, and so on). Discussions over the primacy of either structure and agency relate to the core of sociological epistemology ("What is the social world made of?", "What is a cause in the social world, and what is an effect?"). A general outcome of incredulity toward structural or agential thought has been the development of multidimensional theories, most notably the action theory of Talcott Parsons and Anthony Giddens's theory of structuration.

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Other articles related to "structure and agency, structures, structure, agency":

Sociology Of Education - Theoretical Perspectives - Structure and Agency - Bourdieu and Cultural Capital
... between the objective and subjective, or to put it another way, between structure and agency ... are based on the idea that objective structures determine individuals' chances, through the mechanism of the habitus, where individuals internalise these structures ... The subjective expectations influenced by the objective structures found in the school, perpetuate social reproduction by encouraging less-privileged students to eliminate ...
Structure And Agency - A European Problem?
... While the structure/agency debate has been a central issue in social theory, and recent theoretical reconciliation attempts have been made, structure/agency theory has ... examines these issues (and surveys the structure agency debate) in greater detail in his book Modern Sociological Theory (2000) ...
Sociological Terms - Structure and Agency
... Structure and agency, form an enduring ontological debate in social theory "Do social structures determine an individual's behaviour or does human agency?" In this ... Discussions over the primacy of either structure and agency relate to the core of sociological epistemology ("What is the social world made of?", "What is a cause in the social ...

Famous quotes containing the words structure and, agency and/or structure:

    Slumism is the pent-up anger of people living on the outside of affluence. Slumism is decay of structure and deterioration of the human spirit. Slumism is a virus which spreads through the body politic. As other “isms,” it breeds disorder and demagoguery and hate.
    Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–1978)

    It is possible that the telephone has been responsible for more business inefficiency than any other agency except laudanum.... In the old days when you wanted to get in touch with a man you wrote a note, sprinkled it with sand, and gave it to a man on horseback. It probably was delivered within half an hour, depending on how big a lunch the horse had had. But in these busy days of rush-rush-rush, it is sometimes a week before you can catch your man on the telephone.
    Robert Benchley (1889–1945)

    In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government.
    James Madison (1751–1836)