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A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms

A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms Some sociologists have recently argued that a major aim of sociological inquiry is to identify the mechanisms by which cause and effect relationships in the social world come about. This article argues that existing accounts of social mechanisms are problematic because they rest on either inadequately developed or questionable understandings of social action. Building on an insight increasingly common among sociological theorists—that action should be conceptualized in terms of social practices—I mobilize ideas from the tradition of classical American pragmatism to develop a more adequate theory of mechanisms. I identify three kinds of analytical problems the theory is especially well poised to address and then lay out an agenda for future research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Sociological Review SAGE

A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms

American Sociological Review , Volume 74 (3): 22 – Jun 1, 2009

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References (127)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2009 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0003-1224
eISSN
1939-8271
DOI
10.1177/000312240907400302
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Some sociologists have recently argued that a major aim of sociological inquiry is to identify the mechanisms by which cause and effect relationships in the social world come about. This article argues that existing accounts of social mechanisms are problematic because they rest on either inadequately developed or questionable understandings of social action. Building on an insight increasingly common among sociological theorists—that action should be conceptualized in terms of social practices—I mobilize ideas from the tradition of classical American pragmatism to develop a more adequate theory of mechanisms. I identify three kinds of analytical problems the theory is especially well poised to address and then lay out an agenda for future research.

Journal

American Sociological ReviewSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2009

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