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“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2021

Introduction

Social research and human relationships undergo numerous discussions by theorists and sociologists from different parts of the world. Effective models are introduced to support new positions. However, not all approaches remain clear and helpful to people. Mustafa Emirbayer is one of the current American sociologists whose theoretical contributions to social analysis are frequently considered by learners and professors.

His background knowledge in education, psychology, sociology, and culture turns out to be a solid basis for his future career as a sociologist and theorist. In 1994, Emirbayer wrote an article about the social network and cultural analysis and was inspired by the results that made a new attempt to investigate social relationships. His Manifesto for Relational Sociology is one of the most powerful and interesting sociological projects of the late 20th century.

Its peculiar feature is the author’s intentions to gather the existing theories and approaches and introduce them as a whole that depicts the nature of human relationships. His Manifesto is based on philosophical, theoretical, and empirical aspects properly combined to investigate the social world with its static and dynamic relations, substances, and processes.

Main body

The author of the chosen article divides the work into several logical parts, which becomes one of its merits. It is easy and understandable to read the text and identify the goals and intentions demonstrated by Emirbayer. He does not want to question some theories or weaken the already offered empirical approaches. The task is to clarify the worth of a relational perspective from different points of view and explain possible challenges of relational analysis by advocating the importance of content instead of the importance of interactions.

The existing contradictions between substantialism and relationalism promote new discussions. Emirbayer underlines the necessity to use empirical approaches and different theories, including the concepts of power, freedom, equality, and agency. This work helps to underline the power of relations and minimize the need for substances. People are free to have their own interests, to rely on their national traditions, and consider their cultural backgrounds.

Action should not be neglected, as well as words cannot be omitted. There is no need for people to guess about something. The social world can be improved, and these improvements should begin with the combination of substantial and relational approaches.

Finally, Emirbayer pays enough attention to the challenges that may occur in the relationships between relational and substantial theorists. Collective emotions, a variety of cultures, and multiple tasks may disorient people, and Emirbayer suggests focusing on the main concepts and approves all of them with the help of actions or specially approved research techniques. In other words, it is not enough to take one theory or philosophy, but it is expected to investigate the projects by Tilly, Somers, Dewey, White, and even Bourdieu and identify all alternatives that may be appropriate for society.

Conclusion

In general, Manifesto by Emirbayer is a significant contribution to the field of sociology and social research. Many important lessons have been gained from this reading, including the necessity to develop theoretical and empirical approaches and never hurry up to make a final statement about the concept. Social relationships are complex by their nature, and it is wrong to believe that one approach can be easier and more effective compared to a multiple choice. Sometimes, it is required to have several choice models and move them to come to one but effective conclusion with time.

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"“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer." IvyPanda, 13 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/manifesto-for-a-relational-sociology-by-emirbayer/.

1. IvyPanda. "“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer." May 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/manifesto-for-a-relational-sociology-by-emirbayer/.


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IvyPanda. "“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer." May 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/manifesto-for-a-relational-sociology-by-emirbayer/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer." May 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/manifesto-for-a-relational-sociology-by-emirbayer/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) '“Manifesto for a Relational Sociology” by Emirbayer'. 13 May.

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