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Action Theories

MAX WEBER: SOCIAL ACTION THEORY:
Types of action:
Instrumentally rational action= the actor calculates the most efficient way to achieve a goal. E.g.
maximise profits by lowering workers wages
Valuerational action = an action towards a goal that has no way of being calculated, e.g. praying to
go…

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In interactions, everyone plays the audience and the actor, which is a limitation of Goffman's theory


PHENOMENOLOGY:
Husserl argues that the world only makes sense because we impose meaning and order on it by
constructing mental categories that we use to classify and `file' information coming from our senses
Schutz's…

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STRUCTURE AND ACTION:
Giddens' structuration theory:
There's a `duality of structure' ­ structure and action exists simultaneously
Structures make actions possible, relationship is called structuration. E.g. language
Reproduction of structures through agency:
Rules and resources can be reproduced or changed via human action. We tend to reproduce them.
Society's rules…

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