Toward an Integration of Micro- and Macro-Sociologies
Author: Karin Knorr Cetina
Category: Social Science
After a period in which sociology was torn apart by the polarized claims of micro- and macro-methodology, an increasing number of sociologists are now attempting a fusion of the two approaches. In this volume, some of the most distinguished sociologists set out possible resolutions of the debate. Each of the chapters, placed in perspective by the editors’ prologue, approaches the problem from a unique angle. Aaron Cicourel argues for a macro-basis of social interaction; Randall Collins shows how the macro consists of an aggregate of micro-episodes; Troy Duster presents a methodological model for generating a systematic data base across different contexts of social action through his examination of the procedures governing screening for inherited disorders. Rom Harré launches a philosophical attack on what he sees as a spurious bifurcation of micro- and macro-levels. Anthony Giddens explores the problem of unintended consequences, and Gilles Fauconnier, through a depiction of Jesuitical casuistry, shows how vital clues to macro-structure can be elicited from the micro-phenomenon of language. Victor Lidz continues the language theme in his chapter on the implications of advances in linguistic theory for macro-systems theory. Niklas Luhmann illustrates the micro-macro problem by the communication about law in interaction systems. The theory of historical materialism is reassessed by Jürgen Habermas. Taking the example of Renault and electric vehicles, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour investigate how micro-actor status is attained and the sociologist’s involvement in this transformation. Finally, Pierre Bourdieu, writing on men and machines, analyses the historical imperatives that create the complex relation between man and his environment.
This book evolved from a collaborative research project between the University of Manitoba, Canada and Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, which commenced in 1984 to study the problems of river channel migration, rural population displacement and land relocation in Bangladesh. The study was sponsored by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), based in Ottawa, Canada. It was through this project that I started my journey into disaster research more than thirteen years ago with basically an applied problem of massive magnitude in Bangladesh. I spent two- and-a half-years, in two stages, in Bangladesh's riparian villages to collect the empirical data for this study. Then the growing disaster discourse throughout the 1980s, especially its conceptual and theoretical areas, drew me in further, gluing my interest to these issues. In the 1990s, during my research and teaching at Brandon University, Canada, I realized that, despite the large body of literature on natural disasters, there was no work that synthesized the approaches to nature-triggered disasters in a comprehensive form, with sufficient empirical substantiation. In addition, despite the great deal of attention given to disasters in Bangladesh, I found no detailed reference book on the topic. Natural hazards and disasters, in my view, should be studied under a holistic framework encompassing the natural environment, society and individuals. Overreaction to the limitations of technocratic-scientific approaches-the control and prevention of physical events through specialized knowledge and skills-has resulted in a call for "taking the naturalness out of natural disasters.
The papers contained in this volume are based on the contributions to an international, interdisciplinary Symposium entitled 'Analytical and Sociologi cal Action Theories' which took place in Berlin (West) on September 1-3, 1982. Each part comprises a main paper followed by two (in Part IV three) papers commenting on it. On the whole there is an equal division into philo sophical and sociological papers. In particular each main paper receives both inter- and innerdisciplinary comments. The Berlin Symposium was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn) and, to a smaller extent, by the Freie UniversiHit Berlin; both grants are acknowledged gratefully. Berlin and Helsinki, May 1984 GOTTFRIED SEEBASS RAIMO TUOMELA vii GOTTFRIED SEEBASS INTRODUCTION I. It is a striking fact that the extended efforts of both sociologists and analytical philosophers to work out what is termed a 'theory of action' have taken little, if any, account of each other. Yet of the various reasons for this that come to mind none appears to be such as to foil any hopes for fruitful interdisciplinary exchange. Being concerned, apparently, with the same set of phenomena, viz. individual and social actions, the two theories can reasonably be expected to be partially overlapping as well as competitive and complementary. Accordingly each can eventually be shown by the other to need completion or revision. Whether or to what extent this is the case is subject to inquiry and discussion.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Business & Economics
Making Projects Critical is an edited collection contributed by a range of international scholars linking the area of project management with critical management perspectives. Challenging recent debates on inherent problems in project management, the text considers project management within a wider organizational and societal context.
What factors contribute to tourism and recreation development? How can we characterise stakeholder rationales and organisation modes to enhance tourism resources and foster tourism and recreation services? To what extent do tourism and recreation contribute to regional development? What changes are taking place in terms of new destinations, stakeholders, policy objectives? Bringing together scholars from the fields of planning, economics, sociology, management studies and geography, this book examines cross-cutting issues in tourism and recreation with the aim of developing an extended view of leisure time. Focusing mainly on France with comparison to the experience of Northern and Southern European countries and North America, it combines a diverse range of case studies to address issues such as contrasting rural dynamics, changing public policies, sustainable development imperatives, evolving user behaviour and increasingly diverse recreation activities and stakeholder organisation. Specific topics are highlighted, such as the role of social capital or culture as factors of recreation development; resort organisation from international and experience-based perspectives; and the usefulness of the capability approach to evaluate tourism impacts on local development. Emphasising policy recommendations to help public or collective action on the issues and presenting emerging trends in the field, this book should be of interest to students, scholars and stakeholders in tourism/recreation planning and management.
It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.
The feminine script of early nineteenth century centered on women's role as patient, long-suffering mothers. By mid-century, however, their daughters faced a world very different in social and economic options and in the physical experiences surrounding their bodies. In this groundbreaking study, Nancy Theriot turns to social and medical history, developmental psychology, and feminist theory to explain the fundamental shift in women's concepts of femininity and gender identity during the course of the century -- from an ideal suffering womanhood to emphasis on female control of physical self. Theriot's first chapter proposes a methodological shift that expands the interdisciplinary horizons of women's history. She argues that social psychological theories, recent work in literary criticism, and new philosophical work on subjectivities can provide helpful lenses for viewing mothers and children and for connecting socioeconomic change and ideological change. She recommends that women's historians take bolder steps to historicize the female body by making use of the theoretical insights of feminist philosophers, literary critics, and anthropologists. Within this methodological perspective, Theriot reads medical texts and woman- authored advice literature and autobiographies. She relates the early nineteenth-century notion of "true womanhood" to the socioeconomic and somatic realities of middle-class women's lives, particularly to their experience of the new male obstetrics. The generation of women born early in the century, in a close mother/daughter world, taught theirdaughters the feminine script by word and action. Their daughters, however, the first generation to benefit greatly from professional medicine, had less reason than their mothers to associate womanhood with pain and suffering. The new concept of femininity they created incorporated maternal teaching but altered it to make meaningful their own very different experience. This provocative study applies interdisciplinary methodology to new and long-standing questions in women's history and invites women's historians to explore alternative explanatory frameworks.
Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America
Author: Paul N. Edwards
Publisher: MIT Press
The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology--and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories--the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture--through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence. Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a "closed-world discourse" of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of "containment" led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects--for containing world-scale conflicts--helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a " Star Wars" space-based ballistic missile defense. Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a "cyborg discourse." By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world. Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction--from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner--where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series