Individual Actors (individual + actor)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

"They Took Out the Wrong Context": Uses of Time-Space in the Practice of Positioning

ETHOS, Issue 2 2004
Kevin M. Leander
Time-space is not merely a backdrop to social interaction; rather, individuals use particular forms of time-space to discursively position themselves and others. This article analyzes how several adolescents interpreted a previous classroom interaction, which was rife with social positioning. Responding to a videotape of this interaction, the adolescents were in general agreement that one of them ("Latayna") acted "ghetto." An analysis of the interview data reveals how participants use typified forms of time-space, or particular chronotopes, in the practice of positioning. These chronotopes index the relative changeability of the social world, the possibilities of individual agency, and the relations of social and individual development. The analysis also makes visible how individual actors, including Latanya, creatively and strategically shape subjectivities by transforming and laminating diverse chronotopes. [source]

Minamata Disease and Environmental Governance

Harutoshi Funabashi
Abstract:, This article aims to clarify the conditions necessary for environmental governance through a case study of one of the most tragic examples of environmental destruction, the Minamata disease. The Minamata disease is methyl-mercury poisoning resulting from the ingestion of contaminated fish and shellfish. The first incident of the Minamata disease occurred in the mid-1950s, in Kumamoto Prefecture. In spite of the grave lesson that the pollution in Kumamoto provided, Japanese society went on to experience a second occurrence of Minamata disease in the mid-1960s, in Niigata Prefecture. Conflicts between victims, the companies responsible for contamination, and the central and prefectural governments have continued for the past 50 years. As a whole, the history of the two incidences of Minamata disease shows a lack of environmental governance in Japanese society. Effective environmental governance is the ability to produce adequate solutions to a variety of environmental problems. In order to resolve an environmental problem such as Minamata disease adequately, four tasks must be achieved. These are the discovery of the cause, the prevention of suffering, recovery from suffering and the learning of a lesson. What factors are crucial to the achievement of these tasks? Through an analysis of the history of Minamata disease, I would like to point out three fundamental factors that have a decisive influence on the solution of an environmental problem. They are the existence of an effective and just juridical system, a mature public sphere, and the quality of individual actors who are concerned with an environmental problem. The following conditions are important to the fostering of environmental governance on a more concrete level: sensitivity of the society and the ability to set an agenda, autonomy of the research process and of any research groups, organization of the antipollution movement, an adequately designed system for compensation, and various measures which help to counter socially amplified suffering. [source]

Chromosome organization and gene control: It is difficult to see the picture when you are inside the frame

Pernette J. Verschure
Abstract The organization of the genome in the nucleus is related to its function. The functional compartmentalization of the genome is described at the nuclear, chromosomal, subchromosomal, nucleosomal, and DNA sequence level. These descriptions originate from the techniques that were used for analysis. The different levels of compartmentalization are not easily reconciled, because the techniques applied to identify genome compartmentalization generally cannot be performed in combination. We have obtained a large body of information on individual "actors" and "scenes" in the nucleus regarding genome compartmentalization, but we still do not understand how and by what pieces of equipment the "actors" play their game. The next challenge is to understand the combined operation of the various levels of functional genome organization in the nucleus, that is, how do the epigenetic and genetic levels act together. In this paper, I will highlight some of the general features and observations of functional organization of the eukaryotic genome in interphase nuclei and discuss the concepts and views based on observed correlations between genome organization and function. I will reflect on what is to be expected from this field of research when the functional levels of genome compartmentalization are integrated. In this context I will draw attention to what might be needed to improve our understanding. J. Cell. Biochem. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Market Uncertainty and Socially Embedded Reputation

Harris H. Kim
Both economists and sociologists generally recognize the importance of reputation in coordinating economic transactions. In a perfectly competitive and anonymous market characterized by faceless buyers and sellers, the issue of reputation would be irrelevant and unnecessary. In reality, however, markets are often filled with varying degrees of information asymmetry, which can threaten the very existence of the market system itself. In critical reaction to the standard neoclassical model, some economists, on the one hand, argue that when there is an information problem, reputation serves as a valuable source of market signal of quality. Sociologists of economic life similarly contend that reputation, along with trust, is critical in lowering transaction costs and thereby facilitating various economic activities among individual actors. The purpose of this article is to apply this broad theoretical observation to a specific empirical phenomenon. It does so by highlighting the role of social networks that connect actors on both demand and supply sides of the market. Specifically, this study examines how interpersonal networks in the market for legal services affect the duration of ties between buyers and sellers. Quantitative analysis based on a random sample of Chicago lawyers, a project funded by the American Bar Foundation, reveals that ceteris paribus the lawyer-client relations are significantly driven by social network factors. [source]

Integration and Differentiation in Institutional Values: An Empirical Investigation in the Field of Canadian National Sport Organizations

Ali Danisman
Abstract Integrating institutional theory's institutional isomorphism with integration and differentiation cultural views, the study examines the sources of variation in institutionally prescribed values in the field of Canadian National Sport Organizations. The results indicate support for the adaptation of institutional based values and norms among individual actors from both integration and differentiation perspectives. Specifically, results demonstrate institutionally prescribed values to be mostly monolithically adapted at the organizational level. However, in spite of uniformity in most organizations as well as institution-wide strength, these values are also prone to be manifested distinctively around functional subgroups across the field. Implications of results for research on both institutional theory and culture are discussed. Résumé La présente étude examine, grâce à une synthèse harmonieuse entre la théorie institutionnelle de l'isomorphisme et les vues culturelles sur la différenciation et l'intégration, les sources de variation dans les valeurs prescrites par les institutions dans le domaine du Canadian National Sport Organizations. Les résultats indiquent la nécessité d'adapter les normes et les valeurs institutionnelles aux acteurs individuels. Plus spécifique, les résultats montrent que les valeurs prescrites par les institutions sont, pour la plupart, adaptées de façon monolithique au niveau organisationnel. Mais en dépit de cette uniformité dans la plupart des organisations, ces valeurs ont tendance à se manifester différemment dans tous les sous-groupes fonctionnels du domaine étudié. L'étude s'achève par un examen des implications des résultats pour la recherche sur la théorie et la culture institutionnelles. [source]