A Method for Studying Social Actors

Alaine Touraine

Abstract


So little agreement exists on what constitutes sociology that it seems impossible to de?ne its speci?c methods. We can however proceed through a series of eliminations. Light has been shed on many types of social behavior as economic studies have taken more interest in issues of social strati?cation and mobility or in consumer behavior, and as they increasingly incorporate elaborate quantitative analysis into this type of data. Correlations between social statuses and social behavior tell us about the logic of the system, yet not about that of the actors. Hence, we must imagine other methods in order to reach the actor as an autonomous being, as an agent of transformation of his environment and of his own situation, as a creator of imaginary worlds, as capable of referring to absolute values or of being involved in love relations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2000.211

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Copyright (c) 2015 Alaine Touraine

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