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System, Lifeworld and Gender: Associational Versus Counterfactual Thinking.

Sayer, A. (2000) System, Lifeworld and Gender: Associational Versus Counterfactual Thinking. Sociology, 34 (4). pp. 707-725. ISSN 1469-8684

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Abstract

The paper raises some problems caused by `associational thinking' in social science by reference to examples from the literature on economic organisation and gender. Associational thinking focuses on common associations between social phenomena, such as the gendering of organisations, without asking counterfactual questions about the status of these relationships, for example, whether organisations are unavoidably gendered or only contingently so. It is argued these questions have been inadequately resolved in the literature, as a consequence of a reluctance to engage in counterfactual reasoning and abstraction, and a neglect of the extent to which systems - as opposed to the lifeworld - are `identity-blind'. These questions are pursued through discussions of whether markets and bureaucracies are inherently gendered. It is argued further that associational thinking has also clouded the normative judgements implicit in the critiques of gendered organisations.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: abstraction • associations • lifeworld • system
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 19174
Deposited By: Mrs Yaling Zhang
Deposited On: 28 Oct 2008 14:35
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:26
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/19174

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