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The Agency of Matter: an Essential Component of the Study of Social World Formation - Literature review Example

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 This review "The Agency of Matte " examines the inclusion of a consideration of the material and the social worlds into an explanation of social worlds. It also proposes that such consideration adds value to a psycho-social or social constructivist approach.  …
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The Agency of Matter: an Essential Component of the Study of Social World Formation
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Download file to see previous pages Commentary on an illustration of the two approaches mentioned above, and the theory of attachment and detachment will be provided with examples to show the essential role of matter in explaining interrelationships between people and other people, and people and things. It will be proposed that matter can consist of things external to human beings, the bodies of human beings, and even intangible things such as music and ideas. The effect of these on the social world will be examined. It will be suggested that the better approach to a study of social worlds may have to take into account several of the disciplines currently in use. And that any of these approaches could be enhanced by the study of interactions between humans and matter. A short overview of a prevalent situation in current society will be used to propose that a comprehensive study of society may have to rely on several approaches, being used to supplement and complement one another and that a view that matter has agency is beneficial to any such study.  
Collective meaning, individual habitus, personal thought, and social practice certainly play a central role in serving to explain society and particularly attachment (and detachment) between people, and between people and objects. It is, however, essential to consider the extent to which matter, in the form of the various objects surrounding humans, does influence the processes of human society. Thus it may indeed be that “... meanings are not inherent in the rock itself ... rather they are ascribed to it...” (Redman 2008:179). Or that people thus allocate meaning to things and that things have no agency. This essay, though, will serve to argue that the material world – the objects, human bodies, and even nonhuman things – play an important part in the formation of the social world. While it is not possible or expedient to ignore the contribution of the theoretical frameworks mentioned above – the social constructivist, and the psycho-social – it is also not possible to dismiss the significant effect of matter and its agency in the creation of social worlds.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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