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On the Macrofoundations of Microsociology: Constraint and the Exterior Reality of Structure

Gary Alan Fine
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer, 1991), pp. 161-177
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4120955
Page Count: 17
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On the Macrofoundations of Microsociology: Constraint and the Exterior Reality of Structure
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Abstract

Just as Collins (1981) demonstrates that microsociological presuppositions elucidate macrosociology, the reverse holds as well. Fundamental axioms are the existence of (1) a set of constraints that channel individual action and expectations and (2) obdurate, exterior realities of supraindividual entities. Expanding on these presuppositions this article proposes a set of issues that collectively help provide a macrosociological basis for interpretive microsociology: the physical limits of the built environment, temporal and spatial effects, institutional linkages, the obdurate reality of tradition, and beliefs in organizational primacy. These underline the often unrecognized centrality and legitimacy of macrosociological analysis for the development of microsociology.

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