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Fuhse and donati on relational sociology: beyond the structural view of social networks
Journal Title: SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI 
Author/s: Davide Ruggieri 
Year:  2014 Issue: Language: English 
Pages:  20 Pg. 51-70 FullText PDF:  149 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SP2014-001004
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This paper aims to compare Pierpaolo Donati’s Relational Theory of Society (also called Relational Sociology), and the theoretical proposal of Jan Fuhse’s Relational Sociology. It focuses on two main issues: 1) Epistemology - the «Relational Sociology» paradigm; 2) Ontology - what the social relation consists of. Both perspectives (Donati and Fuhse) aim at describing the social reality as a "relational construct". The core issue and the real distinguishing divergence point between these two theories is precisely the concept of "relation", then its application in methodological and empirical fields. Fuhse starts with the network analysis sociological tradition (White) to reach a relational "communicative" theory of society (Luhmann), whereas Donati insists to build his sociological paradigm from the perspective of the "relation" concept. The former reduces and considers networks as "communicative events", the latter does not renounce to analyse social facts as "relations", synthetizing structure, culture and agency in a wide "relational" social theory.
Keywords: Relation, Network analysis, Structure, Communication, AGIL (scheme).

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Davide Ruggieri, in "SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI" 1/2014, pp. 51-70, DOI:10.3280/SP2014-001004

   

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