Edited By Milica Antić Gaber
The Structuring of Slovenian Society and Gender as the Structured and the Structuring Structure
Readdressing the question of how (contemporary) societies are structured (producing and reproducing the existing relations) and how they change, we cannot but reflect on the almost eternal sociological questions and dilemmas, such as: Which is more important, structure or action, supra-individual complex units or agents? Who conditions whom? Do structures establish the conditions for individuals’ actions or do individuals create structures through their actions? Those who have addressed these issues have tended to place themselves on one or the other side of these dilemmas. Amongst those who have attempted to overcome these “apparent dilemmas” is Anthony Giddens, who says: “structure is ‘subject-less’. […] structuration, as the reproduction of practices, refers abstractly to the dynamic process whereby structures come into being. By the duality of structure I mean that social structure is both constituted by human agency and yet is at the same time the very medium of this constitution” (1993, 128–129.).
We could, therefore, say that structures have been formed throughout history and are accordingly constructed and persistent, representing the framework of their agents; on the other hand, they are, as Marx would put it, created by individuals and groups acting in specific situations and circumstances that they have not themselves chosen. As such, structures are subjected to change and are changing; or, in the words of Pierre Bourdieu: “Through the economic and social necessity that they bring to bear on the relatively autonomous world of the domestic economy and family relations, or more precisely, through...
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