Anthony Giddens


Anthony Giddens

Infobox Scientist
name = Anthony Giddens
box_width =


image_width =
caption = Giddens at the Progressive Governance Conference, Budapest 2004
birth_date = birth date and age|1938|1|18|df=yes
birth_place = London, England
death_date =
death_place =
residence = England
citizenship =
nationality = flagicon|UK British
ethnicity =
field = Sociology
work_institutions = University of Leicester
University of Cambridge
London School of Economics
alma_mater = University of Hull (BA)
LSE (MA)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = Structuration
The Third Way
author_abbrev_bot =
author_abbrev_zoo =
influences =
influenced =
prizes =
religion =
footnotes =

Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (born January 18, 1938) is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern contributors in the field of sociology, the author of at least 34 books, published in at least 29 languages, issuing on average more than one book every year.

Three notable stages can be identified in his academic life. The first one involved outlining a new vision of what sociology is, presenting a theoretical and methodological understanding of that field, based on a critical reinterpretation of the classics. His major publications of that era include "Capitalism and Modern Social Theory" (1971) and "New Rules of Sociological Method" (1976). In the second stage Giddens developed the theory of structuration, an analysis of agency and structure, in which primacy is granted to neither. His works of that period, like "Central Problems in Social Theory" (1979) and "The Constitution of Society" (1984) brought him international fame on the sociological arena. The most recent stage concerns modernity, globalization and politics, especially the impact of modernity on social and personal life. This stage is reflected by his critique of postmodernity, and discussions of a new "utopian-realist"David Halpin, "Hope and Education: The Role of the Utopian Imagination", Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-415-23368-2, [http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0415233682&id=a5LV72_y5UcC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=Giddens+utopia&sig=2wrCrkanl_s1OzdWvtHJKzL9ddo Google Print p.63] ] third way in politics, visible in the "Consequence of Modernity" (1990), "Modernity and Self-Identity" (1991), "The Transformation of Intimacy" (1992), "Beyond Left and Right" (1994) and "The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy" (1998). Giddens' ambition is both to recast social theory and to re-examine our understanding of the development and trajectory of modernity.

Currently Giddens serves as Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics.

Biography

Giddens was born and raised in Edmonton, London, and grew up in a lower middle-class family, son of a clerk with London Transport. He was the first member of his family to go to university. He got his first academic degree from Hull University in 1959, and later took a Master's degree from the London School of Economics, followed by a PhD from King's College, Cambridge in 1974. In 1961 he started working at the University of Leicester where he taught social psychology. At Leicester, which was considered to be one of the seedbeds of British sociology, he met Norbert Elias and began to work out his own theoretical position. In 1969 he was appointed to a position at the University of Cambridge, where he later helped create the Social and Political Sciences Committee (SPS), a sub-unit of the Faculty of Economics.

Giddens worked for many years at Cambridge as a fellow of King's College and was eventually promoted to a full professorship in 1987. He is cofounder of Polity Press (1985). From 1997 to 2003 he was director of the London School of Economics and a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Public Policy Research. He was also an adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; it was Giddens whose "third way" political approach has been Tony Blair's (and Bill Clinton's) guiding political idea. He has been a vocal participant in British political debates, supporting the center-left Labour Party with media appearances and articles (many of which are published in "New Statesman"). Giddens is a regular contributor to the research and activities of progressive think-tank Policy Network. He was given a life peerage in June 2004, as Baron Giddens, of Southgate in the London Borough of Enfield and sits in the House of Lords for Labour.

Ideas

Giddens, the author of over 34 books and 200 articles, essays and reviews has contributed and written about most notable developments in the area of social sciences, with the exception of research design and methods. He has written commentaries on most leading schools and figures and has used most sociological paradigms in both micro and macrosociology. His writings range from abstract, metatheoretical problems to very direct and 'down-to-earth' textbooks for students. Finally, he is also known for his interdisciplinary approach: he has commented not only on the developments in sociology, but also in anthropology, psychology, philosophy, history, linguistics, economics, social work and most recently, political science. In view of his knowledge and works, one may view much of his life's work as a form of 'grand synthesis' of sociological theory.

The nature of sociology

Before 1976, most of Giddens's writings offered critical commentary on a wide range of writers, schools and traditions. Giddens took a stance against the then-dominant functionalism (represented by Talcott Parsons, exponent of Max Weber), as well as criticizing evolutionism and historical materialism. In "Capitalism and Modern Social Theory" (1971), he examined the work of Weber, Durkheim and Marx, arguing that despite their different approaches each was concerned with the link between capitalism and social life. Giddens emphasised the social constructs of power, modernity and institutions, defining sociology as "the study of social institutions brought into being by the industrial transformation of the past two or three centuries."

In "New Rules of Sociological Method" (1976) (the title of which alludes to Durkheim's "Rules of the Sociological Method" of 1895) Giddens attempted to explain 'how sociology should be done' and addressed a long-standing divide between those theorists who prioritise 'macro level' studies of social life - looking at the 'big picture' of society - and those who emphasise the 'micro level' - what everyday life means to individuals. In "New Rules..." he noted that the functionalist approach, invented by Durkheim, treated society as a reality unto itself, not reducible to individuals. He rejected Durkheim's sociological positivism paradigm, which attempted to identify laws which will predict how societies will operate, without looking at the meanings understood by individual actors in society. He contrasted Durkheim with Weber's approach - interpretative sociology - focused on understanding agency and motives of individuals. Giddens is closer to Weber then Durkheim, but in his analysis he rejects both of those approaches, stating that while society is not a collective reality, nor should the individual be treated as the central unit of analysis. [http://www.theory.org.uk/giddens.htm Resources at Theory.org.uk] , site by David Gauntlett, last accessed on 19th February 2006] "Society only has form, and that form only has effects on people, insofar as structure is produced and reproduced in what people do".David Gauntlett, [http://www.theoryhead.com/gender/ "Media Gender and Identity"] , Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-18960-8. About Giddens' work on modernity and self-identity. [http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0415189594&id=Vhc60-bJGQsC&dq=Society+only+has+form,+and+that+form+only+has+effects+on+people,+in+so+far+as+structure+is+produced+and+reproduced+in+what+people+do Google Print] ] Rather he uses the logic of hermeneutic tradition (from interpretative sociology) to argue for the importance of agency in sociological theory, claiming that human social actors are always to some degree knowledgeable about what they are doing. Social order is therefore a result of some pre-planned social actions, not automatic evolutionary response. Sociologists, unlike natural scientists, have to interpret a social world which is already interpreted by the actors that inhabit it. Thus, there is a "Duality of structure", according to Giddens. With that he means that social practice, which is the principal unit of investigation, has both a structural and an agency-component: The structural environment constrains individual behaviour, but also makes it possible. He also notes the existence of a specific form of a social cycle: once sociological concepts are formed, they filter back into everyday world and change the way people think. Because social actors are reflexive and monitor the ongoing flow of activities and structural conditions, they adapt their actions to their evolving understandings. As a result, social scientific knowledge of society will actually change human activities. Giddens calls this two-tiered, interpretive and dialectical relationship between social scientific knowledge and human practices the "double hermeneutic".

Giddens also stressed the importance of power, which is means to ends, and hence is directly involved in the actions of every person. Power, the transformative capacity of people to change the social and material world, is closely shaped by knowledge and space-time.Anthony Giddens, The Nation-State and Violence, University of California Press, 1987, ISBN 0-520-06039-3, p.7 [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0520060393&id=wJu1Z4cTdsIC&num=10&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=power+%22transformative+capacity%22+inauthor:Giddens&sig=Ue-G1rz7s5AZkc18Sabrs0Q8VLA Google Print] ]

In "New Rules..." Giddens specifically wroteStjepan Mestrovic, "Anthony Giddens: The Last Modernist", New York: Routledge, 1998, ISBN 0-415-09572-7, p.47 [http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0415095735&id=7JicAzGV3Q8C&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=but+with+one+which+is+constituted+or+produced+by+the+active+doings+of+subjects&sig=pBZNVk5-5WkXK-Wm2bwOCQqCKdQ Google Prinet] ] that:
*Sociology is not about a 'pre-given' universe of objects, the universe is being constituted -or produced by- the active doings of subjects.
*The production and reproduction of society thus has to be treated as a skilled performance on the part of its members.
*The realm of human agency is bounded. Individuals produce society, but they do so as historically located actors, and not under conditions of their own choosing.
*Structures must be conceptualized not only as constraints upon human agency, but also as enablers.
*Processes of structuration involve an interplay of meanings, norms and power.
*The sociological observer cannot make social life available as 'phenomenon' for observation independently of drawing upon his knowledge of it as a resource whereby he constitutes it as a 'topic for investigation'.
*Immersion in a form of life is the necessary and only means whereby an observer is able to generate such characterizations.
*Sociological concepts thus obey a double hermeneutic.
*In sum, the primary tasks of sociological analysis are the following: (1) The hermeneutic explication and mediation of divergent forms of life within descriptive metalanguages of social science; (2) Explication of the production and reproduction of society as the accomplished outcome of human agency.

tructuration

Social scientists generally agree that none of the early sociologists (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel) provided satisfactory ways of connecting micro and macro analysis or agency and structure. It was in 1976 when Giddens published his ontological analysis in "New rules..." that this view shifted, elevating Giddens to the role of one of the most important figures in that debate. Giddens continued his development of this line of thought in "Central Problems in Social Theory" (1979) and "The Constitution of Society" (1984).George Ritzer (ed.), "The Blackwell Companion to Major Contemporary Social Theorists", Blackwell Publishing, 2003, ISBN 1-4051-0595-X, [http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN140510595X&id=xYPMCNQxLzsC&dq Google Print] ]

Giddens's theory of structuration explores the question of whether it is individuals or social forces that shape our social reality. He eschews extreme positions, arguing that although people are not entirely free to choose their own actions, and their knowledge is limited, they nonetheless are the agency which reproduces the social structure and leads to social change. His ideas find an echo in the philosophy of the modernist poet Wallace Stevens who suggests that we live in the tension between the shapes we take as the world acts upon us, and the ideas of order that our imagination imposes upon the world. Giddens writes that the connection between structure and action is a fundamental element of social theory, structure and agency are a duality that cannot be conceived of apart from one another and his main argument is contained in his expression "duality of structure". At a basic level, this means that people make society, but are at the same time constrained by it. Action and structure cannot be analysed separately, as structures are created, maintained and changed through actions, while actions are given meaningful form only through the background of the structure: the line of causality runs in both directions making it impossible to determine what is changing what. In Giddens own words (from "New rules...") : "social structures are both constituted by human agency, and yet at the same time are the very medium of this constitution." In this regard he defines structures as consisting of rules and resources involving human action: the rules constrain the actions, the resources make it possible. He also differentiates between systems and structures. Systems display structural properties but are not structures themselves. He notes in his article "Functionalism: après la lutte" (1976) that "To examine the structuration of a social system is to examine the modes whereby that system, through the application of generative rules and resources is produced and reproduced in social interaction." This process of structures (re)producing systems is called structuration. Systems here mean to Giddens "the situated activities of human agents" ("The Constitution of Society.") and "the patterning of social relations across space-time"(ibid.). Structures are then "...sets of rules and resources that individual actors draw upon in the practices that reproduce social systems’"John D. Bone, "The Social Map & The Problem of Order: A Re-evaluation of ’Homo Sociologicus’", Theory & Science (2005), ISSN 1527-5558, [http://theoryandscience.icaap.org/content/vol6.1/bone.html online] ] ("Politics, Sociology and Social Theory") and "systems of generative rules and sets, implicated in the articulation of social systems" ("The Constitution of Society."), existing virtually "out of time and out of space" ("New rules...."). Structuration therefore means that relations that took shape in the structure, can exist "out of time and place": in other words, independent of the context in which they are created. An example is the relationship between a teacher and a student: when they come across each other in another context, say on the street, the hierarchy between them is still preserved.

Structure can act as a constraint on action, but it also enables action by providing common frames of meaning. Consider the example of language: structure of language is represented by the rules of syntax that rule out certain combinations of words. But the structure also provides rules that allow new actions to occur, enabling us to create new, meaningful sentences. Structures should not be conceived as "simply placing constrains upon human agency, but as enabling." ("New rules....") Giddens suggests that structures (traditions, institutions, moral codes, and other sets of expectations - established ways of doing things) are generally quite stable, but can be changed, especially through the unintended consequences of action, when people start to ignore them, replace them, or reproduce them differently.

Thus, actors (agents) employ the social rules appropriate to their culture, ones that they have learned through socialisation and experience. These rules together with the resources at their disposal are used in social interactions. Rules and resources employed in this manner are not deterministic, but are applied reflexively by knowledgeable actors, albeit that actors’ awareness may be limited to the specifics of their activities at any given time. Thus, the outcome of action is not totally predictable.

Connections between micro and macro

Structuration is very useful in synthesising micro and macro issues. On a micro scale, one of individuals' internal sense of self and identity, consider the example of a family: we are increasingly free to choose our own mates and how to relate with them, which creates new opportunities but also more work, as the relationship becomes a reflexive project that has to be interpreted and maintained. Yet this micro-level change cannot be explained only by looking at the individual level as people did not spontaneously changed their minds about how to live; neither can we assume they were directed to do so by social institutions and the state. On a macro scale, one of the state and social organizations like a multinational capitalist corporations, consider the example of globalization, which offers vast new opportunities for investment and development, but crises - like the Asian financial crisis - can impact the entire world, spreading far outside the local setting in which they first developed, and last but not least directly influences individuals. A serious explanation of such issues must lie somewhere within the network of macro and micro forces. Thus these different levels, which have traditionally been treated quite separately by sociologists, are in fact revealed as having significant influence upon each other, and cannot really be understood if studied in isolation.

Giddens develops the example of a changes in our views regarding the marriage, noting that claiming that this change stems from micro or macro levels is nothing more than a circular cause and consequence logical fallacy. Social relationships and visible sexuality (micro-level change) are associated with the decline of religion and the rise of rationality (macro-level change), but also with changes in the laws relating to marriage and sexuality (macro), demand for which came from the level of everyday lives (micro). These, in turn, had been affected by the social movements of women's liberation and egalitarianism (macro); which themselves had grown out of dis-satisfactions within everyday life (micro). [http://www.theory.org.uk/giddens.htm Resources at Theory.org.uk] , site by David Gauntlett, last accessed on 19th February 2006]

All of this is increasingly tied in with mass media, one of our main providers of information. Yet information and ideas from the media do not merely reflect the social world, then, but contribute to its shape, and are central to modern reflexivity. David Gauntlett writes in "Media, Gender and Identity" that: "The importance of the media in propagating many modern lifestyles should be obvious. [...] The range of lifestyles - or lifestyle ideals - offered by the media may be limited, but at the same time it is usually broader than those we would expect to just 'bump into' in everyday life. So the media in modernity offers possibilities and celebrates diversity, but also offers narrow interpretations of certain roles or lifestyles - depending where you look.".

Another example explored by Giddens is the emergence of romantic love, which Giddens ("The Transformation of Intimacy") links with the rise of the 'narrative of the self' type of self-identity: "Romantic love introduced the idea of a narrative into an individual's life."David R. Shumway, "Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis", NYU Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8147-9831-4, [http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0814798314&id=KdVa73vN1BgC&dq=Romantic+love+introduced+the+idea+of+a+narrative+into+an+individual%27s+life Google Print] ] Although history of sex clearly demonstrates that passion and sex are not modern phenomena, the discourse of romantic love is said to have developed from the late eighteenth century. Romanticism, the 18th and 19th century European macro-level cultural movement is responsible for the emergence of the novel - a relatively early form of mass media. The growing literacy and popularity of novels fed back into the mainstream lifestyle and the romance novel proliferated the stories of ideal romantic life narratives on a micro-level, giving the romantic love an important and recognised role in the marriage-type relationship.

Consider also the transformation of intimacy. Giddens asserts that intimate social relationships have become 'democratised', so that the bond between partners – even within a marriage – has little to do with external laws, regulations or social expectations, but is based on the internal understanding between two people – a trusting bond based on emotional communication. Where such a bond ceases to exist, modern society is generally happy for the relationship to be dissolved. Thus we have 'a democracy of the emotions in everyday life' (Runaway World, 1999).

Inevitably, Giddens concludes that all social change stems from a mixture of micro- and macro-level forces.

elf-identity

Giddens says that in the post-traditional order, self-identity is not inherited or static; rather, it becomes a reflexive project – an endeavour that we continuously work and reflect on. It is not a set of observable characteristics of a moment, but becomes an account of a person's life. Giddens writes (Modernity and Self-Identity: 54) that "A person's identity is not to be found in behaviour, nor - important though this is - in the reactions of others, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going. The individual's biography, if she is to maintain regular interaction with others in the day-to-day world, cannot be wholly fictive. It must continually integrate events which occur in the external world, and sort them into the ongoing 'story' about the self.".

More than ever before we have access to information that allows us to reflect on the causes and consequences of our actions. At the same time we are faced with dangers related to unintended consequences of our actions and by our reliance on the knowledge of experts. We create, maintain and revise a set of biographical narratives, social roles and lifestyles – the story of who we are, and how we came to be where we are now. We are increasingly free to choose what we want to do and who we want to be (although Giddens contends that wealth gives access to more options). But increased choice can be both liberating and troubling. Liberating in the sense of increasing the likelihood of one's self-fulfilment, and troubling in form of increased emotional stress and time needed to analyse the available choices and minimise risk of which we are increasingly aware (what Giddens sums up as "manufacturing uncertainty"). While in earlier, traditional societies we would be provided with that narrative and social role, in the post-traditional society we are usually forced to create one ourselves. As Giddens (Modernity and Self-Identity: 70) puts it: "What to do? How to act? Who to be? These are focal questions for everyone living in circumstances of late modernity - and ones which, on some level or another, all of us answer, either discursively or through day-to-day social behaviour."

Modernity

Giddens' recent work has been concerned with the question of what is characteristic about social institutions in various points of history. Giddens agrees that there are very specific changes that mark our current era, but argues that it is not a "post-modern era", but just a "radicalised modernity era" (similar to Zygmunt Bauman's concept of liquid modernity), produced by the extension of the same social forces that shaped the previous age. Giddens nonetheless differentiates between pre-modern, modern and late (high) modern societies and doesn't dispute that important changes have occurred but takes a neutral stance towards those changes, saying that it offers both unprecedented opportunities and unparalleled dangers. He also stresses that we haven't really gone beyond modernity. It's just a developed, detraditionalized, radicalised, 'late' modernity. Thus the phenomena that some have called 'postmodern' are to Giddens nothing more than the most extreme instances of a developed modernity.

Giddens concentrates on a contrast between traditional (pre-modern) culture and post-traditional (modern) culture. In traditional societies, individual actions are not matters that have to be extensively considered and thought about, because available choices are already predetermined (by the customs, traditions, etc.). In contrast, in post-traditional society people (actors, agents) are much less concerned with the precedents set by previous generations, and options are at least as open as the law and public opinion will allow. Therefore individual actions now require much more analysis and thought before they are taken. Society becomes much more reflexive and aware, something Giddens is fascinated with, illustrating it with examples ranging from formal government at one end of the scale to intimate sexual relationships at the other. Giddens examines three realms in particular: the experience of identity, connections of intimacy and political institutions.

The most defining property of modernity, according to Giddens, is that we are disembedded from time and space. In pre-modern societies, space was the area in which one moved, time was the experience one had while moving. In modern societies, however, the social space is no longer confined by the boundaries set by the space in which one moves. One can now imagine what other spaces look like, even if he has never been there. In this regard, Giddens talks about virtual space and virtual time.Another distinctive property of modernity lies in the field of knowledge. In pre-modern societies, it were the elders who possessed the knowledge: they were definable in time and space. In modern societies we must rely on expert systems . These are not present in time and space, but we must trust them. Even if we trust them, we know that something could go wrong: there's always a risk we have to take. Also the technologies which we use, and which transform constraints into means, hold risks. Consequently, there is always a heightened sense of uncertainty in contemporary societies. It is also in this regard that Giddens uses the image of a 'juggernaut': modernity is said to be like an unsteerable juggernaut traveling through space.

Humanity tries to steer it, but as long as the modern institutions, with all their uncertainty, endure, we will never be able to influence its course. The uncertainty can however be managed, by 'reembedding' the expert-systems into the structures which we are accustomed to. An example of this is Oprah WinfreyFact|date=February 2007, who uses expert-systems to guide people in their lives, but gives them a recognizability by being an ordinary woman, and not just a doctor in a white suit.

Another characteristic is enhanced reflexivity, both at the level of individuals and at the level of institutions. The latter requires an explanation: in modern institutions there is always a component which studies the institutions themselves for the purpose of enhancing its effectiveness. This enhanced reflexivity was enabled as language became increasingly abstract with the transition from pre-modern to modern societies, becoming institutionalised into universities. It is also in this regard that Giddens talks about "double hermeneutica": every action has two interpretations. The one is from the actor himself, the other of the investigator who tries to give meaning to the action he is observing. The actor who performs the action, however, can get to know the interpretation of the investigator, and therefore change his own interpretation, or his further line of action. This is the reason that positive science, according to GiddensFact|date=February 2007, is never possible in the social sciences: every time an investigator tries to identify causal sequences of action, the actors can change their further line of action. The problem is, however, that conflicting viewpoints in social science result in a disinterest of the people. For example, when scientist don't agree about the greenhouse-effect, people will withdraw from that arena, and negate that there is a problem. Therefore, the more the sciences expand, the more incertitude there is in the modern society. In this regard, the juggernaut even gets more steerless.

In "A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism" Giddens concludes that:
#There exists no necessary overall mechanism of social change, no universal motor of history such as class conflict;
#There are no universal stages, or periodization, of social development, these being ruled out by intersocietal systems and "time-space edges" (the ever-presence of exogenous variables), as well as by human agency and the inherent "historicity" of societies;
#Societies do not have needs other than those of individuals, so notions such as adaptation cannot properly be applied to them;
#Pre-capitalism societies are class-divided, but only with capitalism are there class societies in which there is endemic class conflict, the separation of the political and economic spheres, property freely alienable as capital, and "free" labour and labour markets;
#While class conflict is integral to capitalist society, there is no teleology that guarantees the emergence of the working class as the universal class and no ontology that justifies denial of the multiple bases of modern society represented by capitalism, industrialism, bureaucratisation, surveillance and industrialization of warfare;
#Sociology, as a subject concerned pre-eminently with modernity, addresses a reflexive reality.

Reflexive modernity and radicalised modernity are another important concepts Giddens introduces in his studies of modernity, as an alternative to the conception of postmodernity. "The reflexivity of modern social life consists in the fact that social practices are constantly examined and reformed in the light of incoming information about those very practices, thus constitutively altering their character" ("The Consequences of Modernity"). But contrary to Enlightenment expectations, that increased knowledge did not lead to peace and certitude, instead the intensification of individual and institutional reflexivity in the absence of sure foundations for knowledge has a chronic propensity to manufacture uncertainty and have resulted in a 'radicalised modernity'.

The Third Way

In the age of late and reflexive modernity and post scarcity economy the political science is being transformed. Giddens notes that there is a possibility that "life politics" (the politics of self-actualisation) may become more visible than "emancipatory politics" (the politics of inequality); that new social movements may lead to more social change than political parties; and that the reflexive project of the self and changes in gender and sexual relations may lead the way, via the "democratisation of democracy", to a new era of Habermasian "dialogic democracy" in which differences are settled, and practices ordered, through discourse rather than violence or the commands of authority.

Giddens, relying on his past familiar themes of reflexivity and system integration, which places people into new relations of trust and dependency with each other and their governments, argues that the political concepts of 'left' and 'right' are now breaking down, as a result of many factors, most centrally the absence of a clear alternative to capitalism and the eclipse of political opportunities based on the social class in favour of those based on lifestyle choices.

In his most recent works Giddens moves away from explaining how things are to the more demanding attempt of advocacy about how they ought to be. In "Beyond Left and Right" (1994) Giddens criticizes the market socialism, and constructs a six point framework for a reconstituted radical politics:
#repair damaged solidarities
#recognize the centrality of life politics
#accept that active trust implies generative politics
#embrace dialogic democracy
#rethink the welfare state
#confront violence

The "The Third Way" (1998) provides not only the framework within which the 'third way' is justified, but a broad set of policy proposals aimed at what Giddens refers to as the 'progressive centre-left' in British politics. According to Giddens himself, "the overall aim of third way politics should be to help citizens pilot their way through the major revolutions of our time: globalisation, transformations in personal life and our relationship to nature".

Giddens remains fairly optimistic about the future of humanity. "There is no single agent, group or movement that, as Marx's proletariat was supposed to do, can carry the hopes of humanity, but there are many points of political engagement which offer good cause for optimism". ("Beyond Left and Right") Giddens discards the possibility of a single, comprehensive, all-connecting ideology or political programme. Instead he advocates going after the 'small pictures', ones people can directly affect at their home, workplace or local community. This, to Giddens, is a difference between pointless utopianism and useful utopian realism, which he defines as envisaging "alternative futures whose very propagation might help them be realised". ("The Consequences of Modernity"). By 'utopian' he means that this is something new and extraordinary, and by 'realistic' he stresses that this idea is rooted in the existing social processes and can be viewed as their simple extrapolation. Such a future has at its centre a more socialized, demilitarised and planetary-caring global world order variously articulated within green, women's and peace movements, and within the wider democratic movement.

elect Bibliography

Anthony Giddens is the author of over 34 books and 200 articles. This is a selection of some of the most important of his works:
*Giddens, Anthony (1971) " [http://books.google.com/books?id=dbimzFv3BNsC Capitalism and Modern Social Theory. An Analysis of the writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber] ". Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
*Giddens, Anthony (1973) "The Class Structure of the Advanced Societies". London : Hutchinson.
*Giddens, Anthony (1976) "Functionalism: apres la lutte", Social Research, 43, 325-66
*Giddens, Anthony (1976) "New Rules of Sociological Method: a Positive Critique of interpretative Sociologies". London : Hutchinson.
*Giddens, Anthony (1977) "Studies in Social and Political Theory". London : Hutchinson.
*Giddens, Anthony (1979) "Central problems in Social Theory : Action, Structure and Contradiction in Social Analysis". London : Macmillan.
*Giddens, Anthony (1981) "A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. Vol. 1. Power, Property and the State". London : Macmillan.
*Giddens, Anthony (1982) "Sociology: a Brief but Critical Introduction". London : Macmillan.
*Giddens, Anthony (1982) "Profiles and Critiques in Social Theory". London : Macmillan.
*Giddens, Anthony & Mackenzie, Gavin (Eds.) (1982) "Social Class and the Division of Labour. Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt". Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
*Giddens, Anthony (1984) "The Constitution of Society. Outline of the Theory of Structuration". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1985) "A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. Vol. 2. The Nation State and Violence". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1986) "Durkheim". London : Fontana Modern Masters.
*Giddens, Anthony (1990) "The Consequences of Modernity". Cambridge: Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1991) "Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age". Cambridge: Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1992) "The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies". Cambridge: Polity (publisher).
*Beck, Ulrich & Giddens, Anthony & Lash, Scott (1994) "Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1994) "Beyond Left and Right — the Future of Radical Politics". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1995) "Politics, Sociology and Social Theory: Encounters with Classical and Contemporary Social Thought. Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1996) "In Defence of Sociology". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1996) "Durkheim on Politics and the State". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1998) "The Third Way. The Renewal of Social Democracy". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (1999) "Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives". London : Profile.
*Hutton, Will & Giddens, Anthony (Eds.) (2000) "On The Edge. Living with Global Capitalism". London : Vintage.
*Giddens, Anthony (2000) "The Third Way and Its Critics". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (2000) "Runaway World". London : Routledge.
*Giddens, Anthony (Ed.) (2001) "The Global Third Way Debate". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (2002) "Where Now for New Labour?" Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (Ed.) (2003) "The Progressive Manifesto. New Ideas for the Centre-Left". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (Ed.) (2005) "The New Egalitarianism" Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (2006) "Sociology (Fifth Edition)". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).
*Giddens, Anthony (2007) "Europe In The Global Age". Cambridge : Polity (publisher)
*Giddens, Anthony (2007) "Over to You, Mr Brown - How Labour Can Win Again". Cambridge : Polity (publisher).

References

Further reading

*Christopher G. A. Bryant, David Jary ,"The Contemporary Giddens : Social Theory in a Globalizing Age", Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, ISBN 0-333-77904-5
*David Held, John B. Thompson, "Social Theory of Modern Societies : Anthony Giddens and his Critics", Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-27855-4
*Anthony Giddens, Christopher Pierson, "Conversations with Anthony Giddens", Stanford University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8047-3569-7. A starting-point in which Giddens explains his work and the sociological principles which underpin it in clear, elegant language.

External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejPDcjFxqA8 Interview with Al Jazeera English's Riz Khan]
* [http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/giddens.html Short bio at edge.org]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/reith_99/default.htm BBC Interview with Giddens] . 1999 BBC Reith Lectures interview with Giddens on the topic of "The Runaway World" and reflections on globalisation.
* [http://www.polity.co.uk/giddens/interview.htm Interview with Giddens] . Anthony Giddens talks about his own inspiration as well as the nature and value of studying sociology today.
* [http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/giddens/giddens_index.html THE SECOND GLOBALIZATION DEBATE A Talk With Anthony Giddens] (a video is also available)
* [http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorists/Giddens/index.htm Anthony Giddens' Structuration Resource Page]
* [http://www.ldb.org/giddens.htm Selection of Giddens quotes]
* [http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/global/stafflordgiddens.htm Anthony Giddens - Current LSE page]
* [http://old.lse.ac.uk/collections/meetthedirector.20031001/ Anthony Giddens - Archived LSE page]
* [http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/courses/GIDDENS.HTML Excerpts of Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, pp. 187-201]
* [http://www.thirdway.org/files/reviews/giddens2.html Review of the Third Way and Its Critics]
* [http://www.cjsonline.ca/reviews/giddens.html Review of Anthony Giddens: The Last Modernist, a book by Stjepan Mestrovic]
* [http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpgiddens1.htm A pint of Giddens]
* [http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpgiddens2.htm A Comparison of Conceptions of "Post-Modernity" (PM) and "Radicalised Modernity" (RM)]
* [http://www.theorycards.org.uk/card01.htm The Anthony Giddens trading card]
* [http://www.polity.co.uk/giddens5/ The Anthony Giddens 'Sociology' (5th edition) site - featuring regular updates from Giddens]
* [http://www.policy-network.net/ The official website of Policy Network includes articles and essays by Giddens]

Persondata
NAME=Giddens, Anthony, Baron Giddens
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=British sociologist
DATE OF BIRTH= January 18, 1938
PLACE OF BIRTH=Edmonton, London
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anthony Giddens — Anthony Giddens. Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (* 18. Januar 1938, bei London) ist ein britischer Soziologe. Inhal …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony Giddens — à Budapest, Hongrie, octobre 2004 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anthony Giddens — es un sociólogo británico, reconocido por su teoría de la estructuración …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Anthony Giddens — Para el jugador de baloncesto, véase J. R. Giddens. Anthony Giddens …   Wikipedia Español

  • La Constitution des sociétés (Anthony Giddens) — La Constitution de la société Anthony Giddens a essayé de dépasser le débat domination individu/organisation. La théorie de la structuration, élaborée par Giddens et présentée dans son ouvrage La constitution des sociétés, se pose en réaction des …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giddens — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Anthony Giddens (* 1938), britischer Soziologe, Direktor der London School of Economics and Political Science J. R. Giddens (* 1985), US amerikanischer Basketballspieler Diese Seite ist eine B …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Anthony hace referencia a: Anthony Giddens, sociólogo británico; Anthony Daniels, actor británico; Anthony Kiedis, vocalista del grupo de rock californiano Red Hot Chili Peppers; Antony (teatro), obra de teatro de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giddens —   [ gɪdnz ], Anthony, britischer Soziologe, * Edmonton (heute zu London) 18. 1. 1938; lehrt seit 1970 in Cambridge, seit 1985 als Professor und Fellow des King s College; ist seit 1997 Direktor der London School of Economics and Political Science …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Anthony Randolph — Fiche d’identité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baron Giddens — Anthony Giddens. Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (* 18. Januar 1938) ist ein britischer Soziologe. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biographie …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.