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Relational Reason, Morals and Sociality

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Edited By Elżbieta Hałas and Aleksander Manterys

Relational sociology draws attention to non-utilitarian aspects of sociality that reach beyond instrumental rationality, and presents the problem of relational reason. Shaping a civil society under cultural plurality requires reflection upon relational rationality. This book focuses on relational goods as an emergent effect of social relations, focusing on the issue of good life and the Good Society.

The relational approach involves viewing social relations neither as an expression of the system nor as an individual action, but as a human reality in its own right, based on reciprocity.

The authors explore the moral dimensions of sociality in various areas of social life. The aim is to enrich the understanding of relationality and of the significance of the relational theory of society.

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Aleksander Manterys: Social Bonds and the Relational Nature of Embeddedness

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Aleksander Manterys

Social Bonds and the Relational Nature of Embeddedness

Abstract: The author of this chapter seeks to theoretically consolidate the concept of social bonds and determine its heuristic utility. It is a necessary procedure to understand the sources of regularity of human behavior and the duration of social aggregates. The analysis begins with placing the term “social bond” in the discourse of social sciences. It is continued on four plans: (1) social integration and control, (2) interactive order, (3) social embeddedness, and (4) “relationalist embedding” of social bonds. The analysis prompts the author to recognize the need to develop a transactional understanding of social relations and to determine how some social relationships are established and endorsed as social bonds – relatively stable relationships binding the actor with his or her surroundings. Social bonding is a phenomenon that requires strictly relational specification. It is about the characteristics of its emergence, duration and change, and the processing by actors in the acts of defining the situation, identifying and discerning opportunities, “condensation” of some types of connections and their recognition as non-contingent relationships.

Keywords: relational sociology, social bond, social embeddedness, social order, social relations, sociological theory

Preliminary Remarks

A number of studies on social bonds somehow bypass their direct theoretical addressing. This is somewhat understandable as the clarification of this analytical category is made by references to more significant categories or unit ideas: social order, social solidarity, social control or social embeddedness, respectively...

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