An Essay on Giddens’ Theory of Structuration.

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Anthony Giddens is one of the leading contemporary social theorists. His work has had a considerable influence on the direction social theory has taken over the past three decades. He has created a challenging and complex version of social theory that explores a wide range of sociological perspectives. Not only is he often considered to be one of the main interpreters of modern social theory, he is also regarded as a significant contributor to the conceptual reconstruction of the subject matter of sociology. In his work he brings together many different disciplines and thinkers. Giddens's own version of social theory Ð which he calls structuration theory Ðhas been built up through a long process of critique and synthesis. In his reconstruction of social theory, Giddens criticises many approaches within classical and contemporary social thought, but in each case ideas and concepts are taken from them to contribute to structuration theory. His theory addresses the most fundamental, and therefore familiar, problems in the social sciences, but in an unconventional way. Structuration theory Ð which draws heavily on such theorists as Wittgenstein and Garfinkel whose implications for ``macro'' sociological issues have rarely been explored Ð represents for many sociologists one of the more creative theoretical efforts of the second half of the twentieth century. In his earlier work, Giddens was mainly concerned with the interpretation and exegesis of social theory. In his more recent writings his principle aim has become the reconstruction of social theory and the building of his own theory. Giddens's theoretical project has maintained certain continuities over the years. He has consistently criticised the agency/ structure, individual/society dualisms that he sees as haunting social theory as well as the idea that social science can model itself on the natural sciences. His reconstruction of social theory places an active person at the centre of social theory, that is,...
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