Sociology Essay

Anthony Giddiness, a British sociologist, developed the Structuralism Theory in response to claims that the conditions humans find themselves in are determined for them by past structures, and volunteerism that suggests humans re completely free to create their lived environment.

The theory of structuralism states that the basic domain of social science study is neither the experience of the individual nor the existence of any form of societal totality, but social practices. Through social activities, people reproduce the actions that make these practices normal. The core of structuralism theory lies in the concepts of structure, system, and duality of structure. Structuralism refers to the conditions governing the continuity or change of structures, and thus the reproduction of social systems.

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Structure refers to the rules and resources, or transformation relations, organized as properties of social systems. System refers to the duplicated relations between people organized as regular social practices. Structuring properties makes it possible for noticeably similar social practices to exist across varying spans of time and space. Analyzing the structuralism of social systems means studying the modes in which such systems are produced and reproduced in interaction. Social structures are sets of rules and resources that are customary in society and carried as memory traces in socialized actors.

Giddiness claims social structures are both the media for actors to produce interactions and the products of these interactions. Actors draw upon their knowledge of the rules of grammar and vocabulary to produce their conversational interaction with others. This process is the interaction between structure and agency or actors. Ultimately, structuralism theory and the concept of the duality of structure allow us to think of society from both a structural and behavioral perspective without reducing the analysis to either the behavioral or institutional level.

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