Frederic-Vandenberghe-Sociology New Theoretical Developments’

May 19th, 2015
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The shift from structure to agency that characterised post-war sociology led in the 1970s to a theoretical stalemate. Micro-sociologies dealing with the minutiae of social action and conversations practices were opposed to macro-sociologies that analysed the long-term changes of the world economy.

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Frdric Vandenberghe: 'Sociology: New Theoretical Developments' in Kuper, A. and Kuper, J. (eds.): The Social Science Encyclopedia (third edition). London, Routledge, 2004.Sociology: new theoretical developmentsNew theoretical movements of the 1980sThe shift from structure to agency that characterised post-war sociology led in the 1970s to a theoretical stalemate. Micro-sociologies dealing with the minutiae of social action and conversations practices were opposed to macro-sociologies that analysed the long-term changes of the world economy. In the early 1980s there were several attempts to overcome the opposition between agency and structure, micro and macro, the individual and society (Alexander, 1988). Pierre Bourdieu initiated the series of theoretical innovations in 1979 with the publication of Distinction. A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Two years later Jrgen Habermas, the legitimate heir of the Frankfurt School, published The Theory of Communicative Action. In this two-volume book, he presented a reformulation of critical theory that grounded the emancipatory impulse of reason in the intersubjective communications of the life-world, and warned against its

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