Figurational Dynamics, Changing Power Balances, and Organisational Formation

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC56 Historical Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

Following the theoretical models developed by Norbert Elias, as social interdependencies expand and multiply, power balances tend to become less uneven. A process of functional democratisation advances, meaning inequalities become less extreme. This is particularly the case as more and more people and groups become enmeshed and enabled through growing and fluid social networks. However, these processes are likely to be shaped by the degree and extent of representational organisation formation, such that various 'interests', whether economic or cultural, coalesce and to some extent crystalise around social movements at varying levels of social integration, ideological homogeneity and cultural cohesiveness. As ideals and purposes acquire a kind of relative autonomy from the figurational dynamics which generated them, and especially so if the ideals become central to the establishment of more formal organisations, then the changing social opportunities for collective action and mobilisation, and the need to strategise in such fluid conditions, increases the likelihood of organisational fragmentation due to compromise and the elevation of strategy over purpose. This session will explore these processes in terms of various changing power balances between groups often historically in conflict, which can lead to conflict within contending groups themselves. Social tensions in relation to conflicts between men and women, different generations, national and regional groups, labour and employer groups, ethnic groups, amongst others, may be explored.
Session Organizer:
Paddy DOLAN, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
John LEVER, Department of Management, University of Huddersfield Business School, United Kingdom
Oral Presentations
Elias`s Idea of a Processual Type of Explanation
Vera WEILER, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá), Colombia
Re-Framing the ‘Paradox of Embedded Agency’: Figurational Dynamics, Habitus Formation and Advertising Practice at Arthur Guinness & Sons Ltd
John CONNOLLY, Dublin City University, Ireland; Paddy DOLAN, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland