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The Plural Actor. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5225078
  • Book
  • December 2010
  • 280 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
The individual that the social sciences take as an object is most often studied in a particular context or from a single dimension. The actor is analysed as a student, worker, consumer, spouse, reader, sportsperson, a voter etc. However, in societies where individuals live often through simultaneously and successively heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory social experiences, each person inevitably carries a plurality of roles, ways of seeing, feeling and acting.

The aim of this study is to consider the ways in which this plurality of worlds and experiences are incorporated into the being of each individual and to observe the individual's actions in a variety of settings. In addition to his sociological viewpoint, the author engages with psychology, history, anthropology and philosophy. His reflections lead him to embark on a program of psychological sociology to highlight the complexities of this plural view of the social.

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Act I: Sketch of a Theory of the Plural Actor.

Scene I: The Plural Actor.

On Singleness.

The single self: a commonplace illusion, but socially well-founded.

The sociohistorical conditions of singleness and plurality.

The plurality of social contexts and repertoires of habits.

The Proustian model of the plural actor.

Splitting of the self and mental conflict: crossings of social space.

Scene II. The Wellsprings of Action.

Presence of the past, present of action.

The many occasions for maladjustment and crisis.

The plurality of the actor and the openings of the present.

Conditional dispositions.

The negative power of the context: inhibition and latency.

'Code switching' and 'code mixing' within the same context.

Actors uncertainly swinging.

Scene III. Analogy and Transfer.

Practical analogy and the triggers of action and memory.

Involuntary action and memory.

The role of habits.

From analytic transfer to the interview relationship.

A relative transferability.

From general to partial schemas.

From generalized transfer to limited and conditional transfer.

Scene IV: Literary Experience: Reading, Daydreams and Parapraxes.

Act II. Reflexivities and Logics of Action.

Scene I: School, Action, and Language.

The scholastic break with practical reason.

Saussure, or the pure theory of scholastic practices on language.

The social conditions of departure from practical reason.

Scene II. The Everyday Practices of Writing in Action.

Embodied memory, objectified memory.

Everyday breaks with practical reason.

'Doing it like that'.

Memory for the unusual.

The longer term and preparing the future.

Managing complex practices.

The official, the formal, and tense situations.

The presence of the absent.

Temporary disturbances of practical reason.

The use of plans: lists of all kinds.

The relative pertinence of practical reason.

Scene III. The Plural Logics of Action.

The ambiguity of a singular practice.

The sporting model of practical reason and its limitations.

Intentionality and the levels of context.

Plurality of times and logics of action.

Act III. Forms of Embodiment.

Scene I. The Place of Language.

The world of silence.

The punctuation of action and its theorization.

Language and the forms of social life.

The mysterious inside.

Scene II. What Exactly Is Embodied?

Processes of embodimentÐinternalization.

The polymorphic embodiment of written culture in the world of the family.

Negative identifications and the force of implicit injunctions.

Act IV. Workshops and Debates.

Scene I. Psychological Sociology.

An exit from sociology?

The objectivity of the 'subjective'.

The singular folds of the social.

Multideterminism and the sense of freedom.

New methodological requirements.

Scene II. Pertinent Fields.

On excessive generalization.

The varying scale of context in the social sciences.

Experimental variation and loss of illusions.

The historicizing of universal theories and fields of pertinence.

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Bernard Lahire l'ENS de Fontenay-Saint-Cloud.
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