Thematizing embeddedness: Reflexive sociology as interpretation

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (1):49-66 (2000)
Abstract
This article examines the interpretive dimensions of human action. Although it takes the reflexive sociology of Pierre Bourdieu as its starting point, the article attempts to develop a more robust hermeneutical account of the reflexivity of social actors and those who study them than Bourdieu himself has considered. It is argued that interpretation is best understood not as the homologous expression of inculcated structures but rather as context-sensitive and reflexively context-transforming action—or what the author wishes to characterize, respectively, as first- and second-order thematizations of embeddedness. The article concludes by contrasting the author's position with the thick description of Clifford Geertz.
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DOI 10.1177/004839310003000103
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