On the reception of Foucault
in Human agents and social structures
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The reception of Michel Foucault reveals something about sociological misrepresentation that is concealed in the use of other theorists in the structure-agency milieu. Foucault was misread, misrepresented or rhetorically rejected by many of the sociologists who claimed to be using his ideas. This chapter addresses how these responses allowed sociologists to solve their theoretical problems. It shows how a theorist from outside sociology came to be so important to so many sociological thinkers at a particular time. The chapter also shows that precisely the problems of adapting Foucault's work to a sociological problematic, as elaborated by Fox, were used to loosely support a vague theoretical status quo. Foucault allowed sociologists to conduct 'business as usual' between the demise of structuralism and the contemporary consensus around Pierre Bourdieu-Anthony Giddens-Jurgen Habermas and the structure-agency dualisms.


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