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Percursos na teoria das práticas sociais : Anthony Giddens e Pierre Bourdieu

  • Peters, Gabriel Moura
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2006
Repositório Institucional da Universidade de Brasília
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The work develops an exegesis of the theoretical-methodological frameworks of social analysis formulated by Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens, focusing on the ways through which each of these authors tackles the foundational problem of the relation between the spheres of agency and structure, taken as the two essentially constitutive dimensions of any portrait or investigation of the societal universe. The exam of this problematic is justified by the fact that Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Giddens’s theory of structuration have as their common foundation the attempt to overcome a specter of inter-related dichotomies that stalk through the history of XXth century social-scientific thought, being referred to through a variety of binomial labels, such as subjectivism/objectivism, individualism/holism and micro/macro. The investigation of the conceptual innovations and social-ontological theses drawn in the theories of the above quoted athors is situated against the backdrop of a presentation of such antinomies, which indicate the tendency, embodied in an impressive diversity of theoretical-methodological perspectives, towards the formulation of conceptions of the relationship between subjectively propelled individual action, on the one hand, and structural or institutional properties of collective formations, on the other, in which an ontological and/or explanatory primacy is aprioristically imputed to one of these spheres. The focus of the exposition of the theoretical-analytical armors of Giddens and Bourdieu is directed towards the reunion of the arguments through which both try to demonstrate the limits of unilateral theoretical solutions to the problem of the articulation between the instances of agency and structure, while weaving, at the same time, heuristic instruments oriented precisely towards the capture of the relation of reciprocal conditionality established between those instances in the course of human social existence. This exegetical path leads, at last, to the conclusion that the theory of practice and the theory of structuration consist in two distinct versions of a praxeological-structurationist model of investigation of the social world, an approach that has as its cornerstone the thesis (a trivial one only at first sight) that states that the characterization of societal life as an endless flow of practices constitutes the heuristically most fruitful starting point to the construction of an accurate portrait of the simultaneous processes of constitution of society by agents and of constitution of agents by society.

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