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The Relational Subject
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  • Cited by 65
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

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    Wilson, Nick 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work. p. 461.

    Tolhurst, Edward Carey, Malcolm Weicht, Bernhard and Kingston, Paul 2018. Is living well with dementia a credible aspiration for spousal carers?. Health Sociology Review, p. 1.

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    Williams, Lawrence 2018. Thinking about careers: reflexivity as bounded by previous, ongoing, and imagined experience. Journal of Critical Realism, Vol. 17, Issue. 1, p. 46.

    Bessant, Kenneth C. 2018. The Relational Fabric of Community. p. 185.

    Vandenberghe, Frédéric 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Relational Sociology. p. 35.

    Donati, Pierpaolo 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Relational Sociology. p. 431.

    Rutzou, Timothy 2018. Critical Realism, History, and Philosophy in the Social Sciences. Vol. 34, Issue. , p. 119.

    Kahn, Peter E 2018. Renewing the professions by attending to structural influences on reflexivity: A critical realist perspective. Journal of Professions and Organization, Vol. 5, Issue. 2, p. 139.

    Mangone, Emiliana 2018. Social and Cultural Dynamics. p. 73.

    Wielecki, Krzysztof 2018. Subjectivity and violence from the perspective of critical realism. Journal of Critical Realism, p. 1.

    Eacott, Scott 2018. Beyond Leadership. p. 25.

    Liang, Lily and Liu, Sida 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Relational Sociology. p. 395.

    Fuhse, Jan A. 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Relational Sociology. p. 457.

    Bessant, Kenneth C. 2018. The Relational Fabric of Community. p. 211.

    Herzog, Patricia Snell and Yang, Song 2018. Social Networks and Charitable Giving: Trusting, Doing, Asking, and Alter Primacy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 47, Issue. 2, p. 376.

    Meliou, Elina and Edwards, Tim 2018. Relational practices and reflexivity: Exploring the responses of women entrepreneurs to changing household dynamics. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, Vol. 36, Issue. 2, p. 149.

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    The Relational Subject
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Book description

Many social theorists now call themselves 'relational sociologists', but mean entirely different things by it. The majority endorse a 'flat ontology', dealing exclusively with dyadic relations. Consequently, they cannot explain the context in which relationships occur or their consequences, except as resultants of endless 'transactions'. This book adopts a different approach which regards 'the relation' itself as an emergent property, with internal causal effects upon its participants and external ones on others. The authors argue that most 'relationists' seem unaware that analytical philosophers, such as Searle, Gilbert and Tuomela, have spent years trying to conceptualize the 'We' as dependent upon shared intentionality. Donati and Archer change the focus away from 'We thinking' and argue that 'We-ness' derives from subjects' reflexive orientations towards the emergent relational 'goods' and 'evils' they themselves generate. Their approach could be called 'relational realism', though they suggest that realists, too, have failed to explore the 'relational subject'.


'The Relational Subject by Pierpaolo Donati and Margaret Archer is something new under the sun … what Donati and Archer have produced seems to me distinctly new both to standard Western sociology and the standard Western philosophy of social science. The theory articulated in The Relational Subject is certainly distinctly different from the varieties of relational sociology that precede it …'

Douglas V. Porpora Source: Journal of Critical Realism

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