Authors of Our Own Lives? Individuals, Institutions and the Everyday Practice of Sociology.

Spurling, Nicola Jane (2010) Authors of Our Own Lives? Individuals, Institutions and the Everyday Practice of Sociology. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

[thumbnail of 11003470.pdf]
PDF (11003470.pdf)
11003470.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.

Download (9MB)


Theories of practice suggest that social structure is reproduced and transformed through the everyday enactment of mundane practices. However, individuals' careers, institutions and policy interventions are typically marginalised within conceptual frameworks and empirical studies, of 'practice' and 'social structure'. This thesis redresses this imbalance. It does so by showing that understandings of social reproduction and transformation can be deepened by exploring intersections of everyday practice, careers, institutions and government policy in the lives of sociologists working in different kinds of UK university. Theoretical arguments about the reproduction and transformation of'practice' and 'structure', and how individuals' lives both shape, and are shaped, by these processes, are examined and developed with reference to a programme of empirical research. Interview data relating to everyday practice and careers are woven together with institutional and economic histories of UK universities and the discipline of sociology. By these means the thesis isolates and analyses different 'intersections' within academic life, and details the processes of reproduction and transformation identified in each intersection. The thesis shows that different 'registers' of structure and agency are at work in processes of reproduction and transformation. In the process it develops theoretical contributions from Archer (2000, 2003, 2007), Giddens (1979, 1984), Bourdieu (1980, 1984, 1986) and MacIntyre (1981), and shows how these might be combined to provide new ways of conceptualising the relation between individuals' careers, institutional history and shifting 'landscapes' in practice reproduction and transformation. The implications of this work for analysing and understanding how policies impact on daily lives are discussed.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2010.
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:25
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:33