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Premium Integrating institutional, relational and embodied structure: an emergentist perspective 1
ElderVass Dave
Publication year2008
Publication title
the british journal of sociology
Resource typeJournals
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Abstract This paper begins to develop an emergentist and realist account of normative social institutions. The argument is developed as a response to Lopez and Scott's historical portrait of the debate on social structure as a dialogue between two different concepts of structure: institutional structure and relational structure , integrated more recently through the concept of embodied structure . The paper argues that all these approaches tend to neglect the idea of structure as a whole and suggests that we cannot understand social structures without recognizing the nature of the corresponding wholes, and how they relate to the human individuals that comprise them. Such a perspective makes clear that embodiment alone is inadequate as a means of integrating institutional and relational conceptions of structure. For a fuller resolution, we must set social structure in an emergentist framework, which can reconcile the complementary roles of institutional structure, relational structure, and indeed embodiment, as aspects of the production of social structures as wholes.
Subject(s)argument (complex analysis) , artificial intelligence , biochemistry , chemistry , computer science , embodied cognition , epistemology , law , normative , perspective (graphical) , philosophy , political science , politics , programming language , set (abstract data type) , social structure , sociology
SCImago Journal Rank1.826

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