In a series of articles, A. Pizzorno has critically reviewed rational choice theory and developed an alternative to it. In certain academic environments, his work has become a clear referent of the sociological reaction against that paradigm. In this paper, we review and offer a critique of Pizzorno's contribution. Firstly, we reconstruct what we think to be the theoretical core of his position, as based on three main concepts: multiple identity, individuals as ‘strings of selves’ and ‘circles of recognition’ as mechanisms reducing identitary uncertainty. Secondly, we criticise this core as lacking philosophical rigour and as being underdeveloped. Thirdly, we analyse Pizzorno's theory as an alternative to the rational choice paradigm. Here we argue that social scientists – and Pizzorno is no exception – often make a double mistake when they oppose methodological individualism and rational choice models.
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