Theoretical consideration of integrating social structure into symbolic interactionism: Selected methodological insights

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Arthur F. Clagett
Cite this article:  Clagett, A. (1988). Theoretical consideration of integrating social structure into symbolic interactionism: Selected methodological insights. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 16(1), 97-108.


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The purpose in this paper was to elucidate the process-social structure controversy, concerning the relationships of self to symbolic interactionism. Increasingly, knowledgeable scholars of self theory are gaining methodological insights, which support the fact that our conceptions of process and social structure are each incomplete, supplementary dimensions articulating the same phenomenal states of being and development. Just as self and society are “twin born”; structure and process are analytically separable dimensions of self that, however, are not mutually reducible. Hence, the basic problem, attempted herein, is to expound dimensions of the symbolic interactionist perspective required for logically specifying and analyzing those psychological, social, and situational conditions under which social structure and social process each exert their differential – as well as their combined, simultaneous influences in determining consequences that self has for social behavior.


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