Den diskursive distribution af struktur og agens

  • Marianne Winther Jørgensen


Marianne Winther Jørgensen: The discursive distribution of structure and agency. An ana-lysis of subject positions in the human sciences One of the central issues in sociology is the relation between structure and agency. While there have been many discussions and proposals about the relationship between them, none has been accepted as a final answer. This article explores that issue employing Foucault’s diagnosis of modern man, and suggests that the question of structure and agency is posed in a way that precludes such an answer. This does not, however, render all discussion obsolete, but rather leaves space for a perspective on the discursive construction and distribution of structure and agency. Two texts are examined, one by Bourdieu and one by Tyler. Both have a similar objective – employing texts in a way to further agency, but these authors see their own role differently. Bourdieu gives himself and science a privileged position as regards access to knowledge, while Tyler sees structures as agents and himself as deliverer, that is, spokesperson for an inevitable development. The author proposes conceiving agency as an “empty form“ and argues that there is a need for agency in order to discuss responsibility and to localize potential for change.