The Concept of Social Structure

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Greenwood Press, 1987 - Social Science - 159 pages
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Porpora is concerned with the concept of social structure and with the relationship between social structure and the individual. He focuses on two different conceptions of social structure, the Durkheimian conception, which is the dominant way in which social structure is conceptualized by sociologists, and an alternative conception, based on a reading of Marx. The author discusses in depth the various aspects of these two divergent theories and shows how the Marxian conception of social structure underlies even the newer structural analyses of racism, sexism, and power that go beyond Marxian theory. He offers a sustained critique of Structural Sociology's theoretical elimination of the individual actor, which results in a corresponding elimination of any form of agency from the explanation of social structural processes.

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Contents

On the Prospects for a Nomothetic Theory of Social
31
The Concept of Purposive Action
57
Purposive versus Mechanistic Explanations of Action
71
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About the author (1987)

DOUGLAS V. PORPORA is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.

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