Structuration Theory

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Structuration theory: Its Application and Place among Other Sociological Theories Margaret Archer once stated that ‘the problem of structure and agency has rightly come to be seen as the basic issue in modern social theory’. The debate on whether human behavior is shaped by social surrounding, or is the outcome of individual’s own characteristics, today is the central issue in sociology. By his structuration theory, Giddens thus made an important attempt to address this problem. More specifically, he proposed a theory that seeks to resolve this scientific dispute, by claiming that society and an individual are in the relation of mutual influence. The theory therefore became a popular and well-known sociological lens not only among social scientists,…show more content…
More specifically, some authors see the theory of structuration, complexity theory and habitus as theories that seek to explain the process of social change. In the meantime, other scholars find similarities in structuration theory and Luhmann’s self-organization theory, given that both of them share an emphasis on the meaning of communication and actions. Academic literature shows that structuration theory and Bourdieu’s theory of habitus are closely intertwined. More specifically, Morrison (2013) claims that ‘Giddens’ ‘duality of structure’ rehearses Bourdieu’s conception of structured structures and structuring structures’ (p. 313). However, Giddens and Bourdieu only explained a circular system of ‘agent-system’ interaction, but did not give an explanation about how this cycle breaks, and thus, a social change or dysfunction occurs. According to Morrison (2005), the theory of complexity tries to explain the social change by emphasizing that ‘self-organization and emergence produce new forms of social behavior’ (p. 316). Thus, change is explained through creativity that arises from agency. Authors agree that habitus and structuration theory both have a stronger explanatory power in terms of explaining social reproduction, while complexity theory theorizes social change…show more content…
Firstly, reviewed academic literature often lacks data support to verify its arguments. Namely, when trying to reveal which theory has the best explanatory power in terms of the problem of social change, Morrison incorporates mainly logical assumption and provides very little data support. The arguments of the author would be much stronger if he described the findings of different researches on social change that were conducted with the application of habitus, structuration and complexity theories. The same problem refers to the Leydesdorff’s attempt to compare structuration theory with self-organization
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