Social Ontology in Social Theory

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 45 (Main Building)
RC35 Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (host committee)

Language: English

Recent discussions in social theory have witnessed a revival of interest in social ontology. Social ontology is a mode of theorising that is generally concerned with the basic structures of social life and the conditions of social practices. Social ontology seeks to clarify those properties and elements that are constitutive of social forms and accordingly social ontologies aim to specify the characteristics of relatively abstract categories like action, institution, groups, rules, structure, and the social. 
While it is undoubtedly true that certain strands of social theory tend to be oriented towards social ontology, it appears that a broader range of theoretical and empirical approaches have recently engaged with issues of social ontology. From a certain standpoint, this is merely the result of making explicit some of the formerly implicit social ontological assumptions of social theories. Yet, there may be other reasons for the renewal of social ontology, such as the self-questioning of social scientific methodology, the elucidation of the constitution of values, the erroding and reconfiguring of borders, like that between the social and the natural, the attempted syntheses of various theories of practice, disorienting experiences of processes of social change, and the perceived need to buttress critical social diagnoses.
This session aims to assess the implications of this background context to recent statements of social ontology in social theory. Is social ontology essential to social theory discussions of the futures that we want?
Session Organizer:
Craig BROWNE, University of Sydney, Australia
Arthur BUENO, Max-Weber-Kolleg, Germany
Critique Between Renewal and Negativity: Some Comments on Social Ontology
Stefan FORNOS KLEIN, Universidade de Brasilia (UnB), Brazil