Individual Agency (individual + agency)

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]


Doing Gender in Academic Education: The Paradox of Visibility

GENDER, WORK & ORGANISATION, Issue 4 2009
Marieke Van Den Brink
Recent contributions in the field of gender and organization point to the notion of paradox to unveil the persistence of gender inequality in organizations. This article seeks to contribute to this growing body of knowledge. We used the notion of paradox to reveal the processes of doing gender at an earth science department of a Dutch university in order to find out whether gender segregation in academic and professional careers has already started during academic education. We focused on the study choices of female students in earth sciences and discovered the paradox of visibility, which enabled us to show the contradictory and ambiguous nature of how gender is done at this department. In this article we discuss the relationship between doing gender and paradox on a theoretical as well as an empirical level. We argue that paradoxes could be very useful when analysing doing gender in organizations, because paradoxes focus on the social process in which individual agency and social structures come together. We even suggest that paradoxes might help us to disrupt the hierarchical nature of the gender binary, because they allow for a constant reflection on ambiguity and contradictions in theorizing as well as in practice. [source]


Occupational Cultures and the Embodiment of Masculinity: Hairdressing, Estate Agency and Firefighting

GENDER, WORK & ORGANISATION, Issue 6 2007
Alex Hall
Drawing on data from an Economic and Social Research Council-funded project, this article explores the implications of different occupational cultures for men's masculine identity. With a focus on embodiment and individual agency, it explores the argument that it is within ,scenes of constraint' that gendered identities are both ,done' and ,undone'. In this article we examine embodied experience in occupational cultures commonly stereotyped as ,masculine' or ,feminine' (hairdressing, estate agency and firefighting), showing how men conform to, draw upon and resist the gendered stereotypes associated with these occupations. What we argue is that gendered conceptions of ,the body' need to be differentiated from individual men's embodiment. Instead, processes of identification can be shown to emerge via embodied experiences of particular kinds of gendered body, and in the ways in which men negotiate the perception of these bodies in different occupational contexts. [source]


The Psychological Basis of Historical Explanation: Reenactment, Simulation, and the Fusion of Horizons

HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 1 2002
Karsten R. Stueber
In this article I will challenge a received orthodoxy in the philosophy of social science by showing that Collingwood was right in insisting that reenactment is epistemically central for historical explanations of individual agency. Situating Collingwood within the context of the debate between simulation theory and what has come to be called "theory theory" in contemporary philosophy of mind and psychology, I will develop two systematic arguments that attempt to show the essential importance of reenactment for our understanding of rational agency. I will furthermore show that Gadamer's influential critique of the reenactment model distinguishes insufficiently between the interpretation of certain types of texts and the explanation of individual actions. In providing an account of individual agency, we are committed to a realistic understanding of our ordinary scheme of action-explanations and have thus to recognize the centrality of reenactment. Nevertheless, Collingwood's emphasis on reenactment is certainly one-sided. I will demonstrate its limitations even for accounting for individual agency, and show how it has to be supplemented by various theoretical considerations, by analyzing the different explanatory strategies that Christopher Browning and Daniel Goldhagen use to explain the behavior of the ordinary men in Reserve Battalion 101 during World War II. [source]


The German Democratic Republic: State Power and Everyday Life

HISTORY COMPASS (ELECTRONIC), Issue 3 2007
Gregory Witkowski
Scholars continue to debate the relationship of state and society in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) over fifteen years after the demise of that communist state. After briefly tracing the western historiography during the Cold War, this article concentrates its analysis on conceptual frameworks employed after the fall of the East German regime. Historians who emphasize the totalitarian power of the state argue that no independent society existed as the regime played an important role in all sectors of society, while those who focus on everyday life declare there was more individual agency in the former GDR. I argue that a more useful paradigm than state and society may be a breakdown between center and periphery as at the local level, state representatives often had more in common with their neighbors than with leaders in Berlin. [source]


Youth Transitions and Employment in Germany

INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL, Issue 164 2000
Walter R. Heinz
In the 1990s, the timing and duration of youth transitions has become variable because of cultural modernisation and the declining stability of careers. In particular, the German ,dual system' of Vocational Education and Training (VET) has come under pressure of globalisation and labour market deregulation. Despite economic turbulence, the main features of the VET have been maintained. The apprenticeship route is still highly accepted-two-thirds of the cohort of school-leavers are passing through it. It continues to provide standardised occupational qualifications and a context for socialisation. It supplies a skilled labour force and keeps youth unemployment low-despite shortcomings in standards of social equality and a slow pace in adapting to changes in technology and work. For the future, the ,left modernisers' strategy of upgrading skills remains possible, by reforming the apprenticeship system and main-taining the 'high-skills, route for transition from education to work. In transition studies structural analysis should be combined with research on institutional regulations, transition pathways, and individual agency. [source]


The internet, empowerment, and identity: an exploration of participation by refugee women in a Community Internet Project (CIP) in the United Kingdom (UK)

JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 3 2006
Asiya Siddiquee
Abstract This article considers the relationship between the Internet, empowerment, identity and participation; and focuses on refugee women in the United Kingdom (UK) participating in a Community Internet Project (CIP) to learn Internet skills. Semi-structured interviews and a non-participant observation were conducted with six refugee women and the course tutor participating in the final session of the CIP. Thematic analysis of the interviews supplemented with findings from the observation, revealed outcomes associated with technological engagement and participation. Technological engagement outcomes included intermediate outcomes of maintaining links and re-building networks, and facilitating resettlement and integration; and empowerment and identity outcomes facilitating the maintenance and development of personal identities, and fostering psychological empowerment. Participation outcomes included the development of social identity and community narratives, and collective consciousness-raising. These findings are used to reflect on the theory of the social psychology of participation (Campbell & Jovchelovitch, 2000), by contextualising technological engagement within participatory processes. The article concludes by discussing individual agency within participation; and calls for further research into the utility of digital technologies in community participatory processes. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Accounting for Poverty: Conflicting Constructions of Family Survival in Scotland, 1855,1925

JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY, Issue 3 2005
ANDREW BLAIKIE
While the ways in which kin were distributed reflect patterns of survival embedded in local cultures, those failing to conform to an idealised family model, especially unmarried mothers, were disadvantaged, as contested relief claims indicate. Analysis considers encounters between local Inspectors and applicants using a framework that draws upon perspectives from political, moral, and particularly social economy. The outcomes of negotiation reveal how individual agency was compromised by adaptation to circumstances as much as by official and popular frames of reference. [source]


Before Your Very Eyes: Illness, Agency, and the Management of Tourette Syndrome

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY QUARTERLY, Issue 2 2008
Andrew Buckser
In this article, I examine the ways that people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) manage the motor and vocal tics characteristic of this neurological disorder. To mitigate the powerful stigmas associated with TS, individuals must either remove tics from public view or strive to recast the way that they are perceived. Drawing on ethnographic research with TS sufferers in Indiana, I elaborate three strategies by which this is done, strategies referred to here as displacement, misattribution, and contextualization. These processes strongly affect both the symptoms themselves and the subjective experience of the illness. They also affect the perception of TS in the larger culture, associating the disease with florid symptoms like cursing,symptoms that, although not at all typical of TS, are the ones most resistant to these kinds of management. These patterns highlight how individual agency may actively shape the cultural construction of illness. [source]


"New" Mainstream SLA Theory: Expanded and Enriched

MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL, Issue 5 2007
MERRILL SWAIN
How have the ideas raised by Firth and Wagner (1997) influenced the construction of second language acquisition (SLA) theories? In this article, we take the position that prior to and since 1997, there was and has been a notable increase in SLA research and theory that prioritizes sociocultural and contextual factors in addition to acknowledging individual agency and multifaceted identities. This article focuses on 4 major influences on a growing body of SLA research: sociocultural theory of mind, situated learning, poststructural theories, and dialogism. We highlight aspects of these perspectives that have been used in SLA theory, and provide examples of research that illustrate the richness and complexity of constructs such as languaging, legitimate peripheral participation, subjectivity, and heteroglossia. These perspectives and constructs address Firth and Wagner's call for a reconceptualization of SLA by offering alternative understandings of language and language learning. [source]


"New" Mainstream SLA Theory: Expanded and Enriched

MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL, Issue 2007
MERRILL SWAIN
How have the ideas raised by Firth and Wagner (1997) influenced the construction of second language acquisition (SLA) theories? In this article, we take the position that prior to and since 1997, there was and has been a notable increase in SLA research and theory that prioritizes sociocultural and contextual factors in addition to acknowledging individual agency and multifaceted identities. This article focuses on 4 major influences on a growing body of SLA research: sociocultural theory of mind, situated learning, poststructural theories, and dialogism. We highlight aspects of these perspectives that have been used in SLA theory, and provide examples of research that illustrate the richness and complexity of constructs such as languaging, legitimate peripheral participation, subjectivity, and heteroglossia. These perspectives and constructs address Firth and Wagner's call for a reconceptualization of SLA by offering alternative understandings of language and language learning. [source]


Risk and Remoteness of Damage in Negligence

THE MODERN LAW REVIEW, Issue 2 2001
Marc Stauch
The remoteness enquiry in negligence, which serves to exclude the liability of defendants for harmful consequences that their careless conduct caused, but for which it seems unfair to penalise them, has long been beset by uncertainty. Indeed, a common view is that this area of the law can be explained only by reference to diffuse considerations of ,legal policy'. This paper, however, argues that the remoteness enquiry represents a principled response to a problem that can arise, at a deep level, in ascribing a harmful outcome to the negligent exercise of individual agency. The relevant problem concerns the possible mismatch between the hypothetical ,risk-claim' in virtue of which conduct was faulty and the causal set that subsequently materialised for harm. The ,revised risk theory' that emerges from this analysis accounts for the majority of remoteness determinations. However, a few exceptions are also considered where ,policy,, in a restricted sense, operates to extend or curtail a negligent agent's legal responsibility. [source]


The influence of success and failure experiences on agency

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 3 2008
Andrea E. Abele
Agency is,besides communion,a basic dimension of traits. It can be specifically linked to behavioral outcomes, to status, mastery, self-esteem and to success. The present paper analyzes the situational malleability of agency. Two studies tested whether an individual's agency (but not communion) is situationally influenced by the experience of success versus failure at a task, as well as whether this effect is the same for men and women. Supporting our hypotheses, the induction of success versus failure experiences led to changes in agency that were independent of actual performance, independent of type of task (memorizing vs. face recognition), independent of induction methodology (easy vs. difficult task vs. manipulated performance feedback), and independent of self-esteem, initial level of agency and of the participants' gender. Communion was not influenced by this kind of experience. Implications for both the basic dimension of agency and for theories on gender and gender stereotypes are discussed. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]