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INTEGRATED APPROACH
· Middle way between structuralism and action theories recognizes the importance of
both the constraints of social structure and of the possibilities of choice.
Social action Integrated
Structural
approach
· Social structure e.g family and work ­ limit and control the behaviour of individuals
and group identities.
· However, individuals can, within limits make choices within these structures and
thereby change them.
· Two theorists operating within this integrated approach are Max Weber and Anthony
Giddens.…read more

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WEBER'S SOCIOLOGY
· Does not fit into structuralism or social action.
· First sociologist to emphasize the importance of understanding the subjective
meanings people held and how they viewed the world, reflected his concept of
Verstehen.
· Verstehen is the idea of understanding human behaviour by putting yourself in the
position of those being studied and trying to see things from their point of view.
· Weber recognized that people had choice and could act to change structures and
were not simply puppets controlled by them.
· In many ways Weber's sociology combines both structuralism and social action
because he does not dismiss the importance of social structures and the influence
they have upon people's ideas, life chances and limited choices available to them.
· To summarize - His view ­ explaining society involves understanding the meanings
and motives for people's actions, such as the meaning of Protestantism to
Protestants by the process of Verstehen as well as the influence of social structure e.g
the level of development in the economy.…read more

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GIDDEN'S THEORY OF STRUCTURATION
· Is an attempt to combine both structure and action which he regards as two parts
of the same process.
· Structuration refers to the two part process by which people are constrained or
shaped by society and social institutions but they can at the same time take action
to support, shape and change them.
· The theory suggests that the existence of social structure provides people with a
framework of rules and established ways of doing things that enable them to live
in society.
· Structuration theory can be illustrated by the legal system which is part of the
social structure. People are constrained by the law to behave in particular ways
and this allows them to go about their lives in some orderly fashion.
· However, the law can only continue if people support it.…read more

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GIDDEN'S THEORY OF STRUCTURATION
(CONTINUED)
E.g laws might prohibit the use of cannabis and those who disobey risk punishment by
the criminal justice system.
· But if there is very widespread use of cannabis and disregard for the law ­ the law
would either have to be enforced, risking it becoming widespread contempt or it
would have to be abandoned or changed.
· This shows how human beings can create and reinforce, change or destroy
structures.
· Good example as the law and the use of cannabis have changed dramatically over
the years as people acted in defiance of the law and campaigned to change it and
it became clear that the social structure needed to change to reflect changing
attitudes.…read more

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EVALUATION OF INTEGRATED
APPROACHES
What criticism would
social action theorists
say towards the integrated
approach?
What criticism would
structural theorists
say towards the
integrated approach?…read more

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