English title: Untying Conceptual Knots: The Analytical Limits of the Concepts of De-Standardisation and Reflexivity

Author(s): Magda Nico - Ana Caetano -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015


In some of the sociological production of recent decades, the popularity of individualisation theories has resulted in conceptually undifferentiated notions in the analysis of social change. De-standardisation, de-institutionalisation and pluralisation, on the one hand, and reflexivity, agency and action, on the other, are concepts that are frequently used interchangeably, self-evidently and without differentiation. In the social science literature, they often assume the almost incontestable status of a premise, instead of that of an object or empirical hypothesis. Rebutting this approach, in this article, the hypothesis that the process of de-standardising the life course as a growing mass phenomenon has little empirical evidence to support it, is postulated and confirmed. The exercise of reflexivity as an exclusively contemporary practice, mobilised homogeneously by all social groups is also questioned. On the basis of European and Portuguese samples, both statistical and content analyses of biographical sequences and narratives are employed.

Volume: 0

Issue: 0

From page no: 0

To page no: 0

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0038038515604107

Journal: Sociology

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