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Richard Jenkins

predecessors have been inconclusive because of a fundamental misconception. The concept of ‘social structure’, upon which they depend, is vague, does not correspond to observable realities, and imports into social science a set of assumptions that are inappropriate if we want to understand the human world. The notion of social structure has dispatched many social theorists on wild goose chases from which they could never return with anything useful. In short, social structure is a concept without which we can, and should, learn to live. The vagueness of social

in Human agents and social structures

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.

Rebecca Styler

Elizabeth Gaskell used Gothic as a symbolic language to explore the dark side of Unitarian thought. She explores, in rationalist terms, evils origins, effects, and remedy, using Gothic tropes as metaphors for humanly created misery. Gaskell locates the roots of ‘evil’ in an unenlightened social order – in ‘The Crooked Branch’ erroneous parenting, and in ‘The Poor Clare’ wider social structures, both distorted by the ideology of privilege. ‘The Poor Clare’ also engages with the tension between moral determinism and personal responsibility, and defends a Unitarian salvation. This tale also demonstrates Gaskell‘s views on aspects of Roman Catholicism.

Gothic Studies
Lessons Learned from an Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières
Maria Ximena Di Lollo, Elena Estrada Cocina, Francisco De Bartolome Gisbert, Raquel González Juarez, and Ana Garcia Mingo

interventions were taking place. MSF also has ongoing advocacy activities to ensure care home residents are not forgotten. Challenges Encountered Initial Public Health Response Excluded Care Homes In Spain, there is a decentralised system for health care that is the responsibility of each region. However, across Spain, care homes lie outside of the health system and are considered social structures. The initial focus of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat

moved with a plan for permanent settlement. Early on in the war refugees were largely accepted in neighboring European countries as ‘hapless wartime victims’ ( Gatrell, 2014 ). As the war continued, and as countries scrambled to accommodate the growing numbers of people who were putting a strain on economic and social structures, the image of the refugee began to change. Almost as if to respond to such anxiety, Hine made the pieta pictures and also photographed refugees orderly participating in routine activities, including registration. ‘Returned refugees to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Changing international organisation identities
Author: Susan Park

This book shows how environmentalists have shaped the world's largest multilateral development lender, investment financier and political risk insurer to take up sustainable development. It challenges an emerging consensus over international organisational change to argue that international organisations (IOs) are influenced by their social structure and may change their practices to reflect previously antithetical norms such as sustainable development. The text locates sources of organisational change with environmentalists, thus demonstrating the ways in which non-state actors can effect change within large intergovernmental organisations through socialisation. It combines an account of international organisational change with detailed empirical evidence of change in one issue area across three institutions.

Open Access (free)
Gender, sexuality and transgression
Author: Jenny DiPlacidi

This book demonstrates that incest was representative of a range of interests crucial to writers of the Gothic, often women or homosexual men who adopted a critical stance in relation to the heteronormative patriarchal world. In repositioning the Gothic, representations of incest are revealed as synonymous with the Gothic as a whole. The book argues that extending the traditional endpoint of the Gothic makes it possible to understand the full range of familial, legal, marital, sexual and class implications associated with the genre's deployment of incest. Gothic authors deploy the generic convention of incest to reveal as inadequate heteronormative ideologies of sexuality and desire in the patriarchal social structure that render its laws and requirements arbitrary. The book examines the various familial ties and incestuous relationships in the Gothic to show how they depict and disrupt contemporary definitions of gender, family and desire. Many of the methodologies adopted in Gothic scholarship and analyses of incest reveal ongoing continuities between their assumptions and those of the very ideologies Gothic authors strove to disrupt through their use of the incest trope. Methodologies such as Freudian psychoanalysis, as Botting argues, can be positioned as a product of Gothic monster-making, showing the effect of Gothic conventions on psychoanalytic theories that are still in wide use today.

This book explores the place of memory in post-apartheid South Africa by analysing state sanctioned-performances of the nation. It first explores how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) archive was created, and what it means to contemporary South Africa. The book then explores creative responses to the TRC. It examines individual narratives that have become iconic; asking why these have been chosen to represent the experiences of the broader majority. It analyses how contemporary cultural practitioners are particularly exploring various non-realistic, highly performative forms in conjunction with verbatim narratives to reflect on diverse lived realities in South Africa. The inherited apartheid archives embody particular narratives of South Africa, especially those that defined separate cultural identities, with their relative worth and histories. The way these archives of memory were constructed and controlled is important, especially insofar as they affected the social structure of the nation, beyond apartheid legislation. The book looks at how at moments of political crisis or transition, specific narratives of history, from particular cultural perspectives, have been performed in public spaces to define national identities. It also explores how Mbeki used the South Africa-Mali project, within the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to extend the imagined boundaries of the nation. Finally, the book explores contemporary popular performance and theatrical engagements with history and memory.

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Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland
Series: Irish Society
Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

This book analyses and critiques Irish society in the early twenty-first century, but seeks to do so by consciously avoiding myth-making and generalisation. It invites readers to revisit and rethink twelve events that span the years 2001-2009. It shows that all of these events reveal crucial intersections of structural power and resistance in contemporary Ireland. The book shows how the events carry traces of both social structure and human agency. They were shaped by overarching political, economic, social and cultural currents; but they were also responses to proposals, protests, advocacy and demands that have been articulated by a broad spectrum of social actors. The book also explores how power works ideologically and through policy instruments to support dominant models of capital accumulation. Identities are constructed at the interface between public policy, collective commitments and individual biographies. They mobilise both power and resistance, as they move beyond the realm of the personal and become focal points for debates about rights, responsibilities, resources and even the borders of the nation itself. The book suggests that conceptions of Irish identity and citizenship are being redrawn in more positive ways. Family is the cornerstone, the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of society. Marriage is the religious, cultural, commercial, and political institution that defines and embeds its values. The book presents a 2004 High Court case taken by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan for legal recognition of their marriage as a same-sex couple, which had taken place a year previously in Canada.

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The opposition of structure and agency
Peter J. Martin and Alex Dennis

Now, social science generally is still [at the] stage of being able to consider only the very large and clearly visible social structures and of trying to produce insight from these into social life in its totality. States and trade unions, priesthoods and family forms, guild and family structures, class formation and the industrial division of labour – these and similar organs and systems appear to constitute society and to fill out the domain of the science of society. In fact, however, these are already structures of a higher order, in which … the

in Human agents and social structures