Realism, Reflexivity, Conflation, and Individualism

Journal of Critical Realism 9 (3):384-396 (2010)
The theoretical work on individualization undertaken by Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens has possessed an enduring influence within sociology. The New Individualism is a recent formulation of this older body of work. In this review essay I critically assess the book from the perspective of the recent work of Margaret Archer. I argue that while much of it is plagued by methodological and empirical inadequacies there are questioned posed by it, as well as by the individualization literature more widely, which are worthy of recovery. I suggest that critical realism in general, as well as Archer’s work in particular, are uniquely placed to perform this act of recovery
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