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Reflexivity as situated problem-solving: A pragmatist alternative to general theory

Holmwood, John

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Authors

John Holmwood



Abstract

Recent developments in sociological theory have addressed the linkage between structure and agency via a conception of reflexivity and the agent’s internal conversation as a means of understanding the (variable) contribution that the self and its powers contribute to social outcomes. In this paper, I present a sociological realism utilising the approach of American pragmatism (Dewey and Mead) to argue for a different way of conceptualising reflexivity, namely as an occasioned feature of interaction. On this view, reflexivity arises in relation to problems in interaction and is oriented to their resolution. It is argued that the self has a social structure and that reflexivity inheres in interactions and not in different types of individual self-identity. The paper discusses general issues of reflexivity in terms of conceptions of sociology’s “dialogic.” Archer’s relation to actors whose behaviours are under scrutiny, before going on to discuss Margaret Archer’s typology of the “inner dialogues” of actors and its use to understand social mobility.

Citation

Holmwood, J. (2014). Reflexivity as situated problem-solving: A pragmatist alternative to general theory. Sociologica, 2014(1), https://doi.org/10.2383/77051

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2013
Publication Date Jan 31, 2014
Deposit Date May 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 4, 2016
Journal Sociologica
Electronic ISSN 1971-8853
Publisher Società editrice il Mulino
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2014
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.2383/77051
Keywords Agency, Foundationalism, Internal Conversation, Social Integration, Social Self
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/720859
Publisher URL http://www.sociologica.mulino.it/doi/10.2383/77051

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