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2 - Manchester As The Birth Place Of Modern Agency Research: The Manchester School Explained From The Perspective Of Evans-Pritchard's Book The Nuer

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates how a sociologistic paradigm was effectively challenged by the Manchester School whose main inspiration lay in the apparently loosely structured rural societies of South Central Africa in late-colonial times (the mid-twentieth century) with their subsequent urban developments. The methodological and theoretical edifice of the Manchester School was designed initially to grasp the centrality of the participants' agency within the little institutionalized, and constantly changing social relations they found to be typical of South Central Africa. The term 'Manchester School' suggests a fixed body of theoretical and methodological tenets by which each member would be recognized and would have dominated the work of all members from the founding of that school. The Manchester School is the result of the exchanges between Gluckman and his younger colleagues over a large number of years.

Keywords: Manchester School; Max Gluckman; sociologistic paradigm; South Central Africa



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