The interactions between structure and agency

How does the work of Giddens help us to understand the interactions between construction and bureau?

Anthony Giddens has become one of the first few British societal theoreticians in recent times to hold an international repute for his influential work on societal theory ( Craib, 1992 ) . Harmonizing to Craib, the work of Giddens is really influential, non merely because of it ‘s measure but besides for the scope of different thoughts it brings together ( Craib, 1992 ) .

In this essay, I will discourse and critically analyze how the work of Giddens help us to understand the interactions between construction and bureau. I will foremost sketch and specify what the footings construction and bureau mean, harmonizing to both classical theoreticians and Anthony Giddens.

Structure can be defined as ‘pattern ‘ of societal relationships and a system that identifies how these forms operate in the society. In functionalism, Structure is a wide term defined by its ‘function ‘ ( Giddens, 1979 ) . On the other manus, In Structuralism, ‘structure ‘ is defined as more explanatory in nature due to the component of transmutations. The difference between construction and map is similar to the 1 between codification and message ; both are dependents on each other ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

Hence, both functionalism and structural linguistics portion overall features between each other. The difference between ‘structure ‘ and ‘system ‘ is that constructions are forms of societal relationships whereas system refers to the existent operation of such relationships ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

Harmonizing to Giddens, construction is when the regulations and resources are organised as belongingss of societal systems. Whereas systems are reproduced dealingss between histrions organised as societal patterns. Structuralisms are the conditions regulating the dichotomy of both construction and system for the reproduction of societal systems ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Giddens provinces that, ‘structure ‘ means a structural belongings supplying the binding of clip and infinite in societal systems. These belongingss are the regulations and resources for the reproduction of societal systems.

Therefore, construction means the survey of the undermentioned, foremost the cognition, how things are to be done by societal histrions. Second, societal patterns which are used to derive that cognition. And in conclusion, capablenesss of these patterns for illustration what they can alter ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

In societal scientific disciplines, structural analysis involves the survey of Structutaion of societal systems. Hence, regulations and patterns exist in concurrence with one another.

In a nutshell, we can state that, Structures are regulations and resources, which are organised as belongingss of societal systems. Whereas systems are reproduced relationships between histrions organised as societal patterns. Structutaion are the conditions make up one’s minding the continuity or transmutation of constructions and systems ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

Both functionalism and structural linguistics are really similar despite their differences, they both express a realistic point of view and hence they both prefer objectivism. Gidden argues that agents reproduce the conditions that make human societal activities possible ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Dichotomy of construction can be viewed in many ways, it ‘s a conformist manner looking at construction, something which constrains action or even determines it. It is hard to presume that construction and bureau are the same thing, nevertheless they do hold many similarities. Harmonizing to Giddens, it is societal patterns which constitute us as histrions ( Gidden, 1984 ) .

Giddens argues that bureau is the Centre of sociological concern ; nevertheless the important characteristic of action is that it is non determined. Giddens claims that action is a uninterrupted flow, a procedure whereby it ca n’t be broken down into grounds and motivations. He argues that instead it is a procedure in which we monitor and apologize our day-to-day actions ( Turker, 1998 ) .

Harmonizing to Giddens, bureau involves a impression of practical consciousness, such as all the things that we know as societal histrions, and therefore must cognize to do societal life happen. Giddens see the relationship between construction and bureau as the dichotomy of construction, whereby persons reflexively produce and reproduce their societal life ( Turker, 1998 ) .

Harmonizing to Giddens, bureau is when an person is able to detect his/her ain experience and so be able to give grounds for their action. Agency should be identified with logical thinking and cognition ( Turker, 1998 ) .

Giddens argues that we as histrions know what we are making, hence we are witting of these things, we routinely apologize what we do. Giddens argues that as persons we can frequently give a rational history of what we are making. Giddens provinces that a sense of modus operandi is needed in order to hold self security. For illustration, if your day-to-day modus operandi is broken you are more likely to experience insecure ( Craib, 1992 ) .

Agency and Power, an agent ( single ) is able to move or act upon the outside universe or resist from such intercession. In other words, to be an agent means to be able to utilize scope of insouciant ( day-to-day life ) powers such as influential powers that may already be used or deployed by others ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Whereas, action depends upon the capableness of those persons to do a difference to a preexistent province of personal businesss in the society. An agent does n’t be any longer when he or she loses the capableness to do a difference or in other words, when they lose power ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

In footings of sociology, power can be defined as the will or capacity to accomplish desired and intended results. Giddens, agrees with Bachrach and Baratz when they classify two faces of power, which are, foremost the capableness of persons to act upon determinations and secondly the mobilisation of prejudice ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Giddens argues that the resources are the structured belongingss of societal systems, taken and improved by knowing agents or persons in the society during their class of interaction. Giddens farther goes on to province that, power is non merely connected to the accomplishment of the person ‘s involvements. Power itself is non a resource ; resources are media through which power is exercised ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

In societal scientific discipline, construction refers to the structuring belongingss leting the ‘binding ‘ of time-space in societal systems ( Giddens, 1984 ) . It will non be right to name constructions as regulations and resources due to its different deductions in philosophical literature. The difference between construction and regulations is that regulations are frequently connected with games but they are different in footings of societal systems ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Rules are often treated in the singular ; hence regulations can non be separated from resources. However, on the other manus structural belongingss represent domination and power ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

The Structutaion theory provinces that regulations and resources used in the production and reproduction of societal action are at the same clip the agencies of system reproduction.

Therefore, we can state that a ‘rule ‘ is more or less likewise to holding a wont or modus operandi ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Habit is a portion of modus operandi and have important function in societal life. Whereas, regulations of societal life are techniques or generalised processs applied in reproduction of societal patterns ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Furthermore, formulated regulations can be expressed such as bureaucratic regulations, regulations of games and so on. Knowledge of process of making ‘social activity ‘ is methodological ( Giddens, 1984 ) . As societal histrions, all human existences are extremely knowing in the production and reproduction of twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours activities. This cognition is more practical instead than theoretical in nature.

On the other manus, what does ‘intentional ‘ mean? Harmonizing to Giddens it is an act carried out by an person when he knows there will be peculiar result or quality of that act ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Hence, this cognition of specific result is known to the person when he starts prosecuting that peculiar act. Harmonizing to Giddens, there is a difference between what is intended and what is done ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

The effects of what agents do, deliberately or accidentally, are the events which could hold non happened if the persons had behaved otherwise ( Giddens, 1984 ) . The effects play an of import function in make up one’s minding what agent has done.

Merton has claimed that the survey of unintended effects is really of import in the sociological system. Every activity can hold two maps, Non-Significant Consequences or either Significant Consequences ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Merton differentiates knowing activity from its unintended effects. For illustration, if an person is meaning to turn the light switch on, he or she might confront a effect to trip the dismay but non with an purpose to name the constabulary or to acquire caught by them and pass remainder of his /her life in the gaol. Here, the knowing activity was merely to turn the visible radiation on ; nevertheless, due to unintended effects ( dismay being triggered ) the result was different ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

On the other manus, both Freud and Gidden claim that there are mini agents within the human agent. Freud states that these mini agents within the human agents decide their actions. These mini agents have been classified as “ Idaho ” , “ self-importance ” and “ ace self-importance ” . However, Gidden does n’t hold with Freud when he says it is ego ( mini agent ) within the human agents that decides their actions ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

Here “ id ” or “ unconscious behavior ” means the desires that these agents create within the head of an person ( human agent ) that is beyond rational thought and consciousness ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

Freud ‘s use of “ unconsciousness ” was subsequently replaced by Giddens nomenclature of unconscious motivations. Freud referred things like sexual and violent impulses to province of unconsciousness while Giddens merely defined “ unconsciousness ” as province of head when human existences are non witting of something or in other words they can non show their feelings into words. This account was given by Giddens without utilizing any analysis from any other societal theoreticians ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

Gidden has stated that there should a democratic relationship between a parent and a immature kid. For illustration, It is the right of the kid, to be treated as equal to an grownup. It needs to be justified when we say “ no you are excessively immature ” to negociate with kids. However, it is hard for an grownup parent to do their kid understand about sexual stereotypes without doing any emotional harm to the kid ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

The modernists believe civilization should be blamed for this but the world is that these kids freely select what they like harmonizing to their ain penchants. Because the rational abilities of the kids are non to the full developed so they may respond to civilization in an emotional manner. Hence, even critics have accepted Giddens point of view that sociology is the survey of modern societies and besides recognize his important part in the field of societal theory ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

On the other manus, Wittgensteinian Doctrine has merely emphasized on action theory ( nature of grounds or purposes ) instead than structural account. They have n’t taken into consideration several other elements such as societal alteration, power dealingss or struggles in the society ( Giddens, 1979 ) . Furthermore, Durkheim argues that society and persons have different features and every individual is born into an already constituted society. However, he failed to back up this external or nonsubjective nature of the society in his Hagiographas ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

Harmonizing to Giddens, hazard and trust demand to be analyzed together in late modernness. Giddens accent the fact that active trust is needed in today ‘s society in order to organize societal solidarity and personal ties. For illustration, many people who are in relationships, spend much of their clip off from each other life in different states, therefore active trust is needed for the relationship to go on. Trust has to be won and actively sustained for relationships to be successful. Giddens argues that in today ‘s society we see that more adult females are now disassociating their matrimony spouses ; this so leads them to taking the family by themselves, which so leads to poverty ( Giddens, in Beck et Al, 1994 ) .

Giddens argues that society is produced and besides reproduced through human action ; hence he rejects any position which states that society might hold an being over persons ( Craib, 1992 ) . Dichotomy of construction is linked to Structutaion, Gidden argues that society usually sees construction as a deciding characteristic of societal life, nevertheless this is non ever the instance ( Craib, 1992 ) .

Gidden besides takes the impression reflexiveness really earnestly, the manner in which we represent our societal universe. In his work, Giddens talks about different types of cognition, one of the cognition Giddens references is the taken for granted cognition, which plays an of import portion in Giddens theory. In other words, this relates to ontological security whereby an person has a sense of the universe and the people around him are more or less the same from twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours ( Craib, 1992 ) .

Furthermore, Gidden states that reflexiveness should non be understood merely in footings of ego consciousness, but besides as the on-going flow of societal life ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Harmonizing to Giddens histrions are continuously supervising their activities ; they monitor facets both physically and socially. Gidden besides states that human action can merely be defined in footings of connotation ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Gidden argues that we are wrong to presume that societies are someway uninterrupted with geographical boundary lines ; instead he believes that systems are more or less unfastened and hence cut across geographical boundaries ( Craib, 1992 ) .

Gidden believes that religion is wholly based on trust and vice-versa. In fact, they are closely related to each other. However, he has been criticised by his fellow sociologist for seting excessively much accent on this. For illustration, human existences have to demo religion in things such as faith, scientific discipline, engineering and even teacher ‘s notes ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) . If there was no religion in these societal agents so this modern universe would non be able to work decently. On the other manus, we besides trust these politicians, scientists, instructors and assorted other societal agents to construct up the religion procedure ( Mestrovic, 1998 ) .

Over one 100 articles have been published in scholarly diaries on Anthony Giddens and his work and really few of them earnestly challenged him. The most important unfavorable judgment of Giddens construct of structutaion ignores the thought of civilization. In the modern society, civilization plays a critical function so it needs to be studied in item. Gidden sometime speaks like a typical Politian instead so being a societal theoretician. For case, at one point he talks about a democratic system in the society. Whereas on the other manus, he justifies that sometimes single involvement are different from the common minority groups.

During his work on Structuration theory, Giddens does non emphasis that much on the societal environment ‘s influence on sociology. Gidden argues that societal constructions are both the status and the result of people ‘s day-to-day activities ; therefore one can non be without the other. Giddens theory is really similar to Bourdieu ; like Bourdieu, Giddens states that societal patterns are enormously of import to the on-going reproduction of socities ( Tucker, 1998 ) .

On the other manus, Nicos Mouzelis argues that Giddens in his book ‘The Constitution of society ‘ did n’t give adequate emphasise to the restraining effects of societal construction. ( Bryant and Jary, 2001 ) . Though, Giddens replied back to his critic by Mouzelis and stated that Mouzelis critic was non justified in footings of the content of what he wrote ( Bryant and Jary, 2001 ) .

Furthermore, throughout his work Giddens makes a great trade of the impression of clip and infinite. Criab argues that Giddens trades with clip and infinite on two different degrees and unless they are clearly distinguished, his work is hard to understand and confounding ( Craib, 1992 ) .

In societal theory, action and construction are inter-dependent ( or are linked to each other )

‘Action ‘ or ‘agency ‘ is a uninterrupted flow of behavior ( regular series of Acts of the Apostless ) . To analyze the construction of the society is like analyzing the anatomy of the beings, where you have to analyze a figure of little maps ( Giddens, 1979 ) .

Furthermore, Giddens references that an apprehension of action and construction is needed irrespective of what job one is seeking to analyze ( Bryant and Jary, 2001 ) . On the whole, Giddens provides us with grounds through illustrations and theories to demo and assist us understand the interaction between construction and bureau.

ANTHONY GIDDENS-THE LAST MODERNIST, By S G Mestrovic, Routedge ( 1998 ) “ The function of desire in bureau and construction ”

Anthony Giddens, 1984, “ The Constitution of Society ” , Cambridge: Polity Press.

Agency and Structure, Anthony Giddens ( 1979 ) “ Cardinal Problems in Social Theory ”

Hazard, Trust, Reflexivity – Giddens ( In Beck et Al, 1994 )

Reading 5 – Craib, I ( 1992 ) Modern Social Theory – Structutaion theory: There is such a thing as society, there is no such thing as society

Reading 6 – The modern-day Giddens and Social theory in a Globalizing age ( Bryant and Jary, 2001 )

Reading 7 – Structutaion theory – Craib, I ( 1992 ) Anthony Giddens

Anthony Giddens, and Modern Social theory/ Tucker, Kenneth, London, Sage ( 1998 ) Structuration theory:

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