The Dichotomy Between Structure And Agency Essay

5109 WordsNov 11, 201621 Pages
Section A, Q 1. The dichotomy between structure and agency and how to resolve this dichotomy has been at the centre of classical and contemporary sociological theorizing. In this write-up, I examine the works of Giddens and Habermas in their prescription for agency and structure dichotomy. I also attempt a brief explanation of what structure and agency connote and examine the relevance of structure and agency for the analysis trade unions. Central to sociological theorizing are issues relation to social action (conscious and deliberate decision-making by individuals), social order (creating and maintaining stable and orderly functioning of society) and the determinant of social change (how society evolves and change). All social theorists, classical and modern are concerned with these three issues (Joas and Knobl, 2013). An appreciation of this is important for understanding structure-agency dichotomy in sociology. The questions to ask here are: what is agency and what is structure? Agency has to do with individual’s capacity for action based on freewill, free thought, choice and action. An example of the expression of individual choice is the self-destruction of a Tunisian that sparked the Arab Spring and led to far-reaching social consequences and social change. Agency or choice on the part of individuals is seen as one of the most important processes that have changed society dramatically. Modern societies are seen to be encountering a shift from central
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