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Journal Article

Teori och typologi: Om förhållandet mellan makrosociologi, institutionella sfärer och social handling / Theory and Typology. Macrosociology, institutional spheres and social Action

THOMAS BRANTE
Sociologisk Forskning
Vol. 31, No. 2, Staten, marknaden och det civila samhället (1994), pp. 3-25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20850096
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Teori och typologi: Om förhållandet mellan makrosociologi, institutionella sfärer och social handling / Theory and Typology. Macrosociology, institutional spheres and social Action
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Abstract

The conceptual triad 'state-market-civil society' is taken as point of departure for a discussion of the broader issue of the uses of typologies in sociology. It is argued that in order to avoid being subordinated to politically loaded notions pervading public discourse, a genuine sociological typology should meet two demands; its dimensions should be derived from a macro-sociological theory, and it should be underpinned by a micro-sociological theory of action. In this way, a typology will serve as a pipeline between micro and macro theories, and also as a checking point for estimating the coherence between these two levels of analysis. As an illustration, Mary Douglas' grid-group model is introduced. This typology is derivable from Durkheim's macro-sociology, but it has a weak micro-foundation. Two theories of action are discussed and compared; the theory of rational choice and the theory of interaction rituals. After demonstrating that the theory of rational choice is incommensurable with the "multi-rational" premises of the grid-group model, it is indicated that an elaboration of the Goffmanian theory of interaction rituals would constitute a viable micro-foundation for the grid-group model. Finally, it is concluded that from the point of view of grid-group, 'civil society' is a highly ambiguous category that should be replaced by the categories of 'community' and 'isolate'.

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