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Realist Social Theory

Realist Social Theory
The Morphogenetic Approach

£40.99

  • Date Published: October 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521484428

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About the Authors
  • Building on her seminal contribution to social theory in Culture and Agency, in this 1995 book Margaret Archer develops her morphogenetic approach, applying it to the problem of structure and agency. Since structure and agency constitute different levels of stratified social reality, each possesses distinctive emergent properties which are real and causally efficacious but irreducible to one another. The problem, therefore, is shown to be how to link the two rather than conflate them, as has been common theoretical practice. Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach not only rejects methodological individualism and holism, but argues that the debate between them has been replaced by a new one, between elisionary theorising and emergentist theories based on a realist ontology of the social world. The morphogenetic approach is the sociological complement of transcendental realism, and together they provide a basis for non-conflationary theorizing which is also of direct utility to the practising social analyst.

    • Offers a new and controversial approach to the problem of structure and agency, building on innovative work in author's Culture and Agency (1988)
    • Directly challenges Giddens's structuration theory which has dominated debate recently
    • Should have broad appeal, bridges philosophy of social sciences and social theory, and provides tools for practical social analysis
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521484428
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The vexatious fact of society
    Part I. The Problem of Structure and Agency: Four Alternative Solutions:
    2. Individualism versus collectivism: querying the terms of the debate
    3. Taking time to link structure and agency
    4. Elision and central conflation
    5. Realism and morphogenesis
    Part II. The Morphogenetic Cycle:
    6. Analytical dualism: the basis of the morphogenetic approach
    7. Structural and cultural conditioning
    8. The morphogenesis of agency
    9. Social elaboration.

  • Author

    Margaret S. Archer, University of Warwick

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