the macro-structure and culture of social life
The study of institutions is central to the study of sociology. In this essay, a case is made for a macrosociology that conceptualizes institutional spheres as the structural and cultural milieus in which all lower levels of social reality, like individual, collective, and clusters of collective actors, are embedded. Spheres like religion or law vary in terms of their degree of physical, temporal, and social differentiation vis-à-vis all other institutional spheres, as well as, the degree to which they are symbolically distinct and, therefore, autonomous spheres of social reality and action. When viewed through an evolutionary and ecological perspective, institutional spheres lose the static nature found in functionalist accounts. Instead a recursive link between actors and environment is posited, highlighting the role the macro-level plays in shaping our everyday lives and social reality.
Abrutyn, S. (2016)., Institutional spheres: the macro-structure and culture of social life, in S. Abrutyn (ed.), Handbook of contemporary sociological theory, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 207-228.
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