Reflexivity in Sociological Theories and Social Movement Theories

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Shujiro YAZAWA, Center of Glocal Studies, Seijo University, Japan
In this paper, I would like to focus on the concept and problem of reflexivity in sociological theories and social movement theories. Reflexivity is one of the key concepts in contemporary sociological theories and has been an important concept in social Movement studies.

A. Gouldner and ethnomethodology pointed out importance of the issue of reflexivity in late 1960’s. Since then, A. Giddens, U. Beck and S.. Lash investigated and used the concept of reflexivity extensively in their analysis of reflexive modernization. P. Bourdieu tried to develop his own reflexive sociology. M. Archer is presenting her unique concept of reflexivity based on critical realism.

Reflexivity is also a key concept in social movement theories. Especially social movement theories from A. Touraine to A. Melucci take reflexivity seriously. Feminist theories are no exception.

This paper shows that reflexivity is a key concept in contemporary sociological theories, because it can mediate constructivism with realism by investigating reflexivity in sociological theories. It also shows that reflexivity is a key of bridging between theory and practice, and between outsiders and insiders in social movements.

This paper pays attention to one more important issue based on above investigation.Reflexivity is always trying to make clear epistemological assumptions of sociological theories. By doing so, reflexive sociology, for example Scott Lash’s, calls for ontological turn in sociology. Sociology today needs to clarify not only epistemological assumptions but also ontological assumptions.

In conclusion, this paper shows a basic way of constructing social movement theories which includes the dimension of common sense, value formation, culture, social relation and social action.