Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

in A Theory of Fields

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199859948
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951178 | DOI:

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This chapter articulates the microfoundation for the theory. The first half sketches a bare-bones perspective on the distinctive essence of human sociability. It reviews the current literature on the emergence of modern humans to argue that language, culture, and the problem of meaning are at the center of what it means to be human. Then, it links this to sociological conceptions of sociability, making brief forays into the classical theories of Weber, Durkheim, and Mead. The second half of the chapter explicates how the “existential function of the social” enables the “social skills” that undergird the forms of strategic action that are central to the theory on offer here.

Keywords: human sociability; Weber; Durkheim; Mead; existential function of the social; social skills

Chapter.  11246 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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