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Selfhood and its pragmatic coherence in the context of social entropy: towards a new framework of the social self

Selfhood and its pragmatic coherence in the context of social entropy: towards a new framework of the social self
Selfhood and its pragmatic coherence in the context of social entropy: towards a new framework of the social self
Any contemporary approach to the construction of the self must be able to deal with the prevailing context of ‘the entropy of the social’ and its impact on the self. This paper: (1) examines the rise of ‘entropic’ views of sociality and destabilised selfhood and discusses the central difficulty traditional frameworks, based on two broad paradigms of understanding selfhood, have for indexing the stability of the self as a register of social change. As it stands, current approaches leave us in a state of undecideability. (2) Following a genealogy of agency theory in the sociological canon, it argues that we can generate models of greater analytical depth to resolve ambiguity by re-aligning and relating two key features of reflexive selves in action: responsivity and recognition. Finally, (3) this argument is developed in the context of empirical work on couples in cross-generational relationships which are by one definition entropic. A new framework is proposed.
selfhood, sociality, pragmatism, agency theory, ontological insecurity
2158-2041
1-13
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa

Vass, Jeff (2014) Selfhood and its pragmatic coherence in the context of social entropy: towards a new framework of the social self. Contemporary Social Science, 1-13. (doi:10.1080/21582041.2014.978811).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Any contemporary approach to the construction of the self must be able to deal with the prevailing context of ‘the entropy of the social’ and its impact on the self. This paper: (1) examines the rise of ‘entropic’ views of sociality and destabilised selfhood and discusses the central difficulty traditional frameworks, based on two broad paradigms of understanding selfhood, have for indexing the stability of the self as a register of social change. As it stands, current approaches leave us in a state of undecideability. (2) Following a genealogy of agency theory in the sociological canon, it argues that we can generate models of greater analytical depth to resolve ambiguity by re-aligning and relating two key features of reflexive selves in action: responsivity and recognition. Finally, (3) this argument is developed in the context of empirical work on couples in cross-generational relationships which are by one definition entropic. A new framework is proposed.

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Published date: 24 November 2014
Keywords: selfhood, sociality, pragmatism, agency theory, ontological insecurity
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372422
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372422
ISSN: 2158-2041
PURE UUID: 09c77cfd-56c7-4046-a535-176b780e4570

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Date deposited: 03 Dec 2014 12:48
Last modified: 20 Nov 2021 19:14

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Author: Jeff Vass

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