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The structure/agency debate has been among the central issues in discussions of social theory. It has been widely assumed that the key theoretical task is to find a link between social structures and acting human beings to reconcile the macro with the micro, society and the individual. This book considers a general movement in which the collective concepts established by the early pioneers of modern sociological thought have been reconsidered in the light of both theoretical critique and empirical results. It argues that the contemporary sociological preoccupation with structure and agency has had disastrous effects on the understanding of Karl Marx's ideas. Through a critical evaluation of 'structuration theory' as a purported synthesis of 'structure and agency', the book also argues that the whole idea of a structure-and-agency 'problem' mythologises the fracture lines that do run through relatively recent sociological thought. Michel Foucault's ideas were used to both shore up existing positions in sociology and to instantiate (or solve) the 'new' structure-agency 'problem'. 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. Habermas is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary social theory.

Myra Seaman

, item 31), and a document embodies religious redemption (the Short Charter of Christ , item 29), amid an array of short texts that affirm the tangibility of religious truths ( The Feasts of All Saints and All Souls , item 25; The King and his Four Daughters , item 26; and The Lament of Mary , item 30). 3 When non-human agents act in literary texts, human readers tend to perceive them as symbolic anthropomorphic figures – as allegorical representations of human qualities (for instance, the tortoise and the hare

in Objects of affection
Melissa S. Williams

rationalistic contrivance but a historically operative idea’. 4 My purpose in this chapter is to interrogate Forst’s account of morality by means of this third mode of reconstruction, namely, the empirical and historical analysis of the actions by which human agents establish moral and just relations between themselves. I agree wholeheartedly with Forst that such relations must be motivated by and must express an attitude of respect towards others’ agency as moral and rational beings and must be structured by practices of egalitarian reciprocity. I further agree that the

in Toleration, power and the right to justification
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Forms of translation in the work of Richard Hakluyt
Henry S. Turner

This essay examines translation as a process of linguistic and cultural mediation, one conditioned (and made possible) by the material book. Henry S. Turner finds in ‘translation’ a useful term for investigating the relationship between form and matter within language itself. Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations identifies its author as a ‘material humanist’ involved in a complex network of human and non-human agents, through which translation itself becomes ‘a process of giving form to matter and of re-mattering the form of language’.

in Formal matters
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Architecture, memes and minds
Author: Chris Abel

While there is widespread agreement across disciplines that the identities of individuals, groups and places are significantly interrelated, there are equally divergent views as to the nature and origins of those relationships. The first part of the book highlights that the prime importance of the human body in spatial cognition and human perception generally. In stressing the fundamental role of the body as the medium of all personal experience, the concept of the self that emerges thus far retains a strong unitary core. An alternative theory of extended minds which retains the integrity of individual human agents while embracing the extension of personal powers by external devices is also discussed. The second part looks at the scope of inquiry to take in the wider impact of technology on human evolution and the extended self. Selected writings from some of Stiegler's prominent followers and critics were also examined for what they contribute to our understanding of Stiegler's ideas and their possible further applications. He and his followers continue to fall back upon neo-Darwinian concepts and terminologies in elaborating their ideas. Theories of emergence and self-production, or autopoiesis, are investigated as promising alternatives to orthodox evolutionary theory. The subject of design, function of memes, impacts of the coevolution of humankind and technology on the human mind and the self are some other concepts discussed. The third part of the book focuses talk about cognitive roots of classification and combinativity, the relations between form and content, and vernacular architecture.

Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

This chapter establishes the multifunctional nature of craft guild halls, buildings in which company members and officers lived, governed, worked, and socialised. It argues that the halls were not inert sites which simply ‘contained’ mercantile and artisanal activities, but active environments – fashioned through built fabrics, material cultures, and human agents – which generated meaning. The craft hall was at the centre of guild activities and had a substantial impact on everyday encounters and exchanges, but this multifunctional space was also fundamental to the collective historic imagination, or memory, of London’s craftsmen. Through their designs, materiality, layout, and furnishings, craft halls held great symbolic significance for their artisanal members and the broader urban community. This chapter also identifies, for the first time, distinctive patterns of company hall rebuilding, adaptation, and ‘beautification’ from c. 1550 to c. 1640 – changes which can be observed in the shifting language of guild inventories and organisation of building plans. Throughout the City, late medieval guild structures were either demolished and replaced, or significantly modified and enlarged, a process which affected hall chambers, parlours, courtrooms, treasuries, kitchens, galleries, and adjoining workshops, gardens, and almshouses. Artisans were investing significant funds, time, energy, materials, and ingenuity into the institutional built environment. The chapter shows how these improvements were shaped, both conceptually and materially, by a considerable range of established and aspirational guildsmen. Contributions to the material and structural organisation of company buildings impacted upon the status of master craftsmen within the guild hierarchy.

in Crafting identities
Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state
Author: Shivdeep Grewal

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union. This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises, populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Placing an emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity in the years since 9/11.

Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader readership concerned with the future of Europe

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Community engagement and lifelong learning
Author: Peter Mayo

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.