Motståndets betydelse

Ett bidrag till aktör-strukturdebatten


  • Elin Lundin Växjö universitet



agency-structure debate, social practices, George Herbert Mead, the inhibited social act


The significance of inhibition: a contribution to the agency-structure debate

A central problem in social theory today is how to integrate agency and structure. The vital question is how to explain social reality by proceeding from both the notion of people doing things which affect the social relationships in which they are embedded (agency) and the idea of the social context moulding social activity (structure). Sociologists as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens and Jürgen Habermas call attention to social practices as the ”missing link” between agency and structure. In accentuating social practices, the aim is to explain how people in their daily encounters actively contribute to the production and reproduction of social structures. This article puts forth the posthumous contribution of George Herbert Mead to the agency-structure debate. I argue that his social pragmatist theory gives us a compound and thorough– but not fully recognized – explanation of the dynamics and the course of events in structurally framed encounters. By especially emphasizing the importance Mead ascribes to the inhibited social act, I examine how his theory deepens the understanding of social practices as a bridge between agency and structure.




Referera så här

Lundin, Elin. 2008. ”Motståndets Betydelse: Ett Bidrag till aktör-Strukturdebatten”. Sociologisk Forskning 45 (4):46-72.