Processual Individuals and Their Experiences

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Vera WEILER, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá), Colombia
Perhaps it may be taken for granted nowadays that individuals are not fixed entities, but rather become the people they are at a given moment, thinking and acting in one or another way, due to their experiences. This makes understanding of experiences crucial for understanding of virtually all the forms of organization of human life, and by this way experiences turned out problematic too. The absence of a shared frame of reference for understanding of and dealing with human’s experiences as well as the variety of efforts to take in account experiences in empirical research, they both should be taken as signals of difficulties.

The paper is aimed to recognize them as such, as difficulties. It will be examined to what extent they are related to those one has to face when trying to overcome a static view of individuals, with lasting consequences rather than merely displacing an absolutistic substance. This is pursued a great deal by means of a comparison of two approaches to the processual nature on individuals (via their experiences), the one stemming from the sociologist Andrew Abbott (Processual sociology), and the other from Günter Dux (On the processual logic of cultural change), also a sociologist. Key concepts to be discussed in this context are Abbott’s “historicality of individuals” and “encoded experience”, and Dux’ “subject logic” and “processual logic”.