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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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Anna Horolets: Is Sociability Conducive to Good Life? Migrants’ Leisure Pursuits in a Relational Perspective

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Anna Horolets

Is Sociability Conducive to Good Life? Migrants’ Leisure Pursuits in a Relational Perspective

Abstract: Most of research on migrants’ social ties emphasizes their utility. In this chapter, the attention is directed to the overlooked autotelic capacities of migrants’ social relations. It relies on the materials gathered through the ethnographic fieldwork among Polish migrants in Chicago in 2014. With the use of leisure as a sensitizing concept, the boundary between utility and pleasure in migrants’ relations with others is shown to be negotiable. The importance of sociability among migrants is linked to plurality of moral regimes and uncertainty typical of migratory situation. It is suggested that for migrants, sociability is a source of hope and opportunity.

Keywords: good life, hope, leisure, migration

Ties in Migration Studies

At first glance, setting migratory experience in a relational perspective does not come as a surprise. For instance, social relations of migrants have been conceived of and analyzed through the Mark Granovetter’s (1983) notion of “strong ties” and “weak ties.” The latter were understood to have a potential of bridging across different milieu and frequently equated with migrants’ ability to establish and maintain contacts outside of the closely-knit group (usually understood as a group of co-ethnics) and to enhance migrants’ opportunities of adaptation in the mainstream society. However, the theory of segmented assimilation (Portes, Zhou 1993; Zhou 1997) brought a more complex understanding of the role the “strong ties” (or bonding relations) play...

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