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'We must put ourselves in the position of the subject who tries to find his way in this world, and we must remember, first of all, that the environment by which he is influenced and to which he adapts himself is his world, not the objective world of science.'

W.I. Thomas
and
F. Znaniecki

Qualitative Sociology Review
2008
Volume IV Issue 2


Author-Supplied Abstracts & Keywords


Hans-Georg Soeffner and Dariuš Zifonun
     KWI-Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut

Integration – An Ou tline from the Perspective of the Sociology of Knowledge

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Robert Prus
     University of Waterloo Canada

Aristotle’s Rhetoric: A Pragmatist Analysis of Persuasive Interchange

Approaching rhetoric as the study of persuasive interchange, this paper considers the relevance of Aristotle's Rhetoric for the study of human group life. Although virtually unknown to modern day social scientists, this text has great relevance for contemporary scholarship. Not only does Aristotle's text centrally address influence work (and resistance), identities and reputations, deviance and culpability, emotionality and deliberation, and the broader process of human knowing and acting in political, character shaping, and courtroom contexts, but Aristotle also deals with these matters in remarkably comprehensive, systematic, and precise terms. Attending to the human capacity for agency, Aristotle also works with a sustained appreciation of purposive, reflective, adjustive interchange. Hence, whereas this text is invaluable of as a resource for the comparative transhistorical analysis of human interchange, it also suggests a great many ways that contemporary scholarship could be extended in the quest for a more adequate, more authentic social science.

Keywords:
Aristotle, rhetoric, influence, activity, agency, identity, emotions, justice, culpability, symbolic interaction, pragmatism
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Larry Strelitz
     Rhodes University, South Africa

Biography, Media Consumption, And Identity Formation

This paper proposes that the biographical or narrative interview is an important method in exploring the relationship of media consumption to identity formation. The paper takes issue with those theorists who place media consumption at the centre of identity formation processes. Rather, in line with the work of British social theorist John Tomlinson, the paper argues the need to see the relationship between media and culture, in the process of identity formation, as an interplay of mediations between culture-as-lived- experienced and culture-as-representation. On the one hand we have the media, representing the dominant representational aspect of modern culture while on the other we have the lived experience of culture which includes the discursive interaction of families and friends and the ‘material-existential’ experiences of routine life. Our media consumption choices and the meanings we take from the media are shaped by these lived cultural experiences while the media we consume also impacts on how we make sense of these experiences. The paper argues that the narrative or biographical interview is a useful way to explore this interplay of mediations in the process of identity formation.

Keywords:
Media consumption; Identity formation; Biography; Narrative interview; South African youth
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Jaroslava Gajdosova
     New School for Social Research

Literary Field and the Question of Method – Revisited

Field theory is one of the most efficient and influential analytical schemes in the critical sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, which he consistently developed in his model of literary field. The analytical reliability of the model derives from the way in which Bourdieu combines the structural category of ‘field’ with the phenomenological categories of “doxa’ and ‘habitus’. This article argues that Bourdieu’s selective application of the two phenomenological categories produces a static structural model of literary field where all processes are explained in causal and deterministic terms. The article further seeks to present an alternative reading of the same categories within a discursive model where the processes in literary field and the motivations of its agents are driven by field’s discourses rather than by its rigid structures.

Keywords:
Field theory; Literary sociology; Literary history; Husserlian phenomenology; Collective identity; Collective memory; Critical sociology
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Marina Grishakova
     Tartu University
Margarita Kazjulja
     Tallinn University

Social Risks and Challenges of the Post-Socialist Transition Period in Estonia: Analysis of Biographical Narratives
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