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- ItemSome problems of policy-related attitude surveys — with examples from the Davis-Sinnott report(Economic and Social Research Institute, 1981-10) McCullagh, CiaranThis paper offers a criticism of some of the problems involved in policy-related attitude surveys. It argues that the assumptions made in order to generate information useful to policy-makers are difficult to defend. The four particular assumptions examined concern the nature of the problem towards which people are presumed to have attitudes, the nature of attitudes themselves, the belief that attitude research is descriptive and finally the relationship between the nature of public opinion and the choice of a research methodology. The argument is illustrated with examples from the report by Davis and Sinnott (1979) on attitudes to the Northern Ireland problem.
- ItemEntrepreneurship and development - an alternative perspective(Economic and Social Research Institute, 1984-01) McCullagh, CiaranThis paper offers an alternative to the more orthodox psychological approach to the study of entrepreneurship. It suggests that an adequate theory of entrepreneurship must consider a country's political and economic history and especially the way in which this history has structured the opportunities for economic gain open to social groups in the society. It further suggests that due to the different historical experience of underdeveloped countries, and especially international monopoly capital, these opportunities will be differently structured in such societies. Whilst the particular structure may not lead to development, it will be maintained by the class structure and political system which emerges in such societies and which may resist attempts to alter that particular structure of economic opportunities. However, while such opportunities are so structured, analysis of entrepreneurship must also consider why there might be differential response to such opportunities in a society. This, it suggests, can be explained in terms of the degree of role continuity and congruity in economic roles in the society. Consideration of both the historical and the economic role level is essential for the study of entrepreneurship.
- ItemCommunity policing: a critique of recent proposals(The Economic and Social Research Institute, 1985-01) McCullagh, CiaranIn this article the proposals by the Association for Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, for a scheme of Community Policing, are outlined and discussed. Their innovatory nature is recognised but a number of problems — the notion of community which they use, difficulties in implementing such schemes and the question of whether they constitute a scheme of community policing — are considered. Finally the question is posed as to whether the Gardai could make the changes required to produce genuine community policing.
- ItemMetacritical observations on a reductive approach to critical theory: Ruane and Todd's 'The Application of Critical Theory'(SAGE Publications, 1990-09-01) Strydom, Piet
- ItemA tie that blinds: family and ideology in Ireland(Economic & Social Research Institute, 1991-04) McCullagh, CiaranThis paper examines the origins of the role of the family as a social symbol in Irish society. The source, it argues, is in the nature of the inequalities that were present in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. These were not simply through classes but also through families. The ideology of the family emerged to deny and to displace the tensions created by the nature of these kinds of inequalities.
- ItemHermeneutic culturalism and its double: a key problem in the reflexive modernization debate(SAGE Publications, 1999-02-01) Strydom, PietProceeding from the debate opened by Beck, Giddens and Lash’s Reflexive Modernization (1994), this paper seeks to clear the way for a more consistent and coherent concept of reflexivity in relation to the cultural-symbolic foundations of society. Seeing that Lash in his contribution to the debate inadvertently raises a key problem, i.e., the broad cognitive problem, the paper develops a critique of his hermeneutic culturalism. It focuses on the disparity between the position explicitly put forward in the debate with Beck and Giddens and the cognitive one which more or less implicitly comes into play throughout his relevant essays. The disparity shows up already in his treatment of the problem of mediation, but it comes graphically to a head in his appropriation of Bourdieu. To lend the analysis some profile and depth, the argument is supported by elements of a socio-cognitive theory which has been gaining visibility in both social theory and the philosophy of social science. While the paper is critical of Lash, its overall aim is to strengthen his contribution to the debate.
- ItemTriple contingency: the theoretical problem of the public in communication societies(SAGE Publications, 1999-03-01) Strydom, PietThis paper seeks to show that the proposition of 'double contingency’ introduced by Parsons and defended by Luhmann and Habermas is insufficient under the conditions of contemporary communication societies. In the latter context, the increasing differentiation and organization of communication processes eventuated in the recognition of the epistemic authority of the public, which in turn compels us to conceptualize a new level of contingency. A first step is therefore taken to capture the role of the public in communication societies theoretically by what may be called 'triple contingency’. Since the process of the definition of reality and its outcome, to which the response of the public is central, is best seen in constructivist terms, attention is also paid to relevant methodological and epistemological questions.
- ItemThe contemporary Habermas: towards triple contingency?(SAGE Publications, 1999-05-01) Strydom, Piet
- ItemThe problem of triple contingency in Habermas(SAGE Publications on behalf of the American Sociological Association, 2001-07-01) Strydom, PietFrom a certain perspective, Habermas's theory of communicative action is a response, in extension of Mead, Schutz, and Parsons, to the risk of dissension posed by double contingency. Starting from double contingency, both The Theory of Communicative Action and Between Facts and Norms are essentially an elaboration of a solution to this problem in terms of a more fully developed theory of communication than had been available to his predecessors. Given the intense concentration and the immense expenditure of energy on the working out of the coordinating accomplishments and structures required by the complex solution envisaged by him, it is unsurprising that Habermas overlooks the next most important problem intermittently raised by the theory of communicative action, namely, the problem of “triple contingency,” that is, the contingency that the public brings into the social process. This has far-reaching implications for Habermas's place in the sociological tradition and for the relation of the younger generation to him. Because of his continued search for a solution to a problem posed in the classical phase of sociology and his concomitant failure to develop the new problem that he himself raised in the course of so doing, he can be classified with Parsons as being a neoclassical sociologist. He nevertheless bequeaths a serious problem to contemporary sociology.
- ItemIs the social scientific concept of structure a myth? A critical response to Harré(SAGE Publications, 2002-02-01) Strydom, Piet
- ItemRobbing the revenue: accounting for deviant behaviour(Institute of Public Adminstration. IPA, 2002-05-28) McCullagh, Ciaran; Corcoran, Mary P.; Peillon, Michel
- ItemSocial epistemology or cognitive sociology? On Steve Fuller's interpretation of Thomas Kuhn(Taylor & Francis Group, 2003) Strydom, Piet
- ItemIntersubjectivity - interactionist or discursive? Reflections on Habermas' critique of Brandom(SAGE Publications, 2006-03-01) Strydom, Piet; Higher Education AuthorityThis article argues that there is a marked ambivalence in Habermas' concept of intersubjectivity in that he wavers between an interactionist and a discursive understanding. This ambivalence is demonstrated with reference to his recent critique of Robert Brandom's normative pragmatic theory of discursive practice. Although Habermas is a leading theorist of discourse as an epistemically steered process, he allows his interpretation of Brandom's theory as suffering from objective idealism to compel him to recoil from discourse and to defend a purely interactionist or dialogical position. It is argued that the ambivalence in question is related to Habermas' incomplete theorization of communication as a process of structure formation that unfolds sequentially through time on different levels. His architectonic of communicative intersubjectivity is marred by a missing concept. His characteristic concept of coordination is insufficient and must be complemented by a concept of synthesis at the discursive level.
- ItemConversion as transformative experience: a sociological study of identity formation and transformation processes(University College Cork, 2006-06) Twomey, Daniel P.; Szakolczai, ÁrpádThis thesis contributes to the understanding of the processes involved in the formation and transformation of identities. It achieves this goal by establishing the critical importance of ‘background’ and ‘liminality’ in the shaping of identity. Drawing mainly from the work of cultural anthropology and philosophical hermeneutics a theoretical framework is constructed from which transformative experiences can be analysed. The particular experience at the heart of this study is the phenomenon of conversion and the dynamics involved in the construction of that process. Establishing the axial age as the horizon from which the process of conversion emerged will be the main theme of the first part of the study. Identifying the ‘birth’ of conversion allows a deeper understanding of the historical dynamics that make up the process. From these fundamental dynamics a theoretical framework is constructed in order to analyse the conversion process. Applying this theoretical framework to a number of case-studies will be the central focus of this study. The transformative experiences of Saint Augustine, the fourteenth century nun Margaret Ebner, the communist revolutionary Karl Marx and the literary figure of Arthur Koestler will provide the material onto which the theoretical framework can be applied. A synthesis of the Judaic religious and the Greek philosophical traditions will be the main findings for the shaping of Augustine’s conversion experience. The dissolution of political order coupled with the institutionalisation of the conversion process will illuminate the mystical experiences of Margaret Ebner at a time when empathetic conversion reached its fullest expression. The final case-studies examine two modern ‘conversions’ that seem to have an ideological rather than a religious basis to them. On closer examination it will be found that the German tradition of Biblical Criticism played a most influential role in the ‘conversion’ of Marx and mythology the best medium to understand the experiences of Koestler. The main ideas emerging from this study highlight the fluidity of identity and the important role of ‘background’ in its transformation. The theoretical framework, as constructed for this study, is found to be a useful methodological tool that can offer insights into experiences, such as conversion, that otherwise would remain hidden from our enquiries.
- ItemIntroduction: a cartography of contemporary cognitive social theory(SAGE Publications, 2007-08-01) Strydom, Piet; Higher Education Authority
- ItemDance-work: Images of organization in Irish dance(Sage Publications, 2008-09) Kavanagh, Donncha; Kuhling, Carmen; Keohane, KieranThe Irish economic boom, commonly known as the Celtic Tiger, provides an interesting and unique opportunity to explore the relationship between the profound shifts in the organization of working life and in the production and consumption of culture. In this paper, we confine our inquiry into the relationship with one aspect of popular culture, namely dance, focusing on the phenomenon of Riverdance which emerged contemporaneously with the Celtic Tiger. We argue that both are deeply immersed in larger organizing discourses, historical narratives about national identity and civilizing attempts to control the body. We identify three distinct 'moments' in the development of Irish dance, which we label as pre-national, 'Traditional' Ireland; national, 'Modern', Parochial Ireland and global, 'Post-modern' Ireland. This provides a narrative through which we explore the transformation of working relations in Ireland during the 19th and 20th centuries.
- ItemGolden Age, Stone Age, Iron Age, Axial Age: The significance of archaic civilization for the modern world(2009-12) Szakolczai, Árpád