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The Actor As Subject

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the three moments in Alain Touraine’s argument in turn, paying particular attention to their implicit hermeneutical premises. It first examines Touraine’s argument that the deep-seated and culturally-embedded conceptions of the actor as the embodiment of reason which is an important source of the self-negating logic undermined the sociological concept of action. Then, the chapter explores his reactivation of the cultural currents which foreground the idea of self-transcendence to construct a conception of the self-creating, acting subject. Finally, it considers the hermeneutical dimensions of the conceptual infrastructure with which he now analyses large-scale social configurations.

Keywords: Alain Touraine; deep-seated cultural orientations; hermeneutical premises; self-transcendence; sociological concept of action



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