Social integration and system integration: Developing the distinction
UNSPECIFIED. (1996) Social integration and system integration: Developing the distinction. Sociology - The Journal of the British Sociological Association, 30 (4). pp. 679-699. ISSN 0038-0385Full text not available from this repository.
This paper underlines the importance of the distinction between 'social' and 'system' integration (agency and structure) introduced by David Lockwood in 1964. Its four sections (i) examine the original difficulty of maintaining any distinction between the 'parts' of society and its 'people' against the social ontology of Individualism whose proponents argued that the former must always be reduced to the latter as individuals were the ultimate constituents of society, (ii) shows how collectivist opposition held 'systemic factors' to be indispensable in sociological explanations, but could not substantiate their ontological status against the charge of reification whilst empiricism held sway, (iii) explores how once the individualist/collectivist debate was superseded, Lockwood's distinction was redefined in structuration theory, where insistence on treating structure and agency as mutually constitutive effectively denied their independent variation and thus reduced the 'social' and the 'systemic' to differences in the scale of social practices; (iv) argues that social realism's ontology, in which 'structures' and 'agents' belong to different emergent strata of social reality, avoids reducing one to the other or eliding the two. Instead it supplies the ontological grounding for Lockwood's distinction and enables it to be developed into an explanatory programme-analytical dualism-whose central tenet is the need to explore the interplay between these two irreducible constituents of social reality in order to account for why things are 'so and not otherwise' and in a manner which is of direct utility to practical analysts of society.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Sociology - The Journal of the British Sociological Association|
|Publisher:||BRITISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOC|
|Number of Pages:||21|
|Page Range:||pp. 679-699|
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