Normative social morphogenesis and the opposition “agency-structure”: From individual to institutions, and back

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Sociological theory at any stage of development requires permanent reflection and comprehension of its own conceptual bases including its terminological axiomatic, which incorporates both the antinomy “subject (action, agency) and structure” and concepts of order, norms and rules, standards, cultural patterns and values, institutions, social control, power and coercion, conformism, deviation, etc. Conceptual descriptions of the opposition “agency-structure”, the problems of social order and mechanisms of normative and institutional “morphogenesis” traditionally act as one of the main “paradigmatic” axes for the development of sociological theory, and their critical analysis and comparison clarify the general methodological basis of social knowledge as a whole and highlight the fundamental demarcation lines between different schools and branches of sociological thought. The author attempts to provide a preliminary reconstruction and revision of the general argumentation used in social theory to explain how normative orders emerge from the internal logic of social interaction that takes place at different levels including everyday life. The article aims to assist in producing a clear and prominent vision of the issues of the dualism of agency-structure in social relations and of their normative, “rule-oriented” nature.

About the authors

D G Podvoyskiy

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
Moscow, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2016 D G Podvoyskiy

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