A Recovery of the Senses: Toward a Critical-Interpretive Sociology of Russian Culture
We like to penetrate into the inner world of another man and to touch the most sensitive string in another's heart and observe its secret quivering; we strive to know its treasured secrets, in order to compare and confirm, to find justification, consolation, and proof of similarity.
-- Aleksandr Herzen My Past and Thoughts
Interpretation of Russian Culture:
The Dialectic of Structure and Agency in Social Life
While there are many differences among sociological theorists, a major strain of thought in sociological theory holds that society consists of individuals and social structures which exist in dialectical relation to one another. Social structures and forces do not rule completely over thinking and acting individuals and their subjectivities, nor are individuals completely able to change structural and historical conditions which precede them and which, in many cases, outlive them. While this theoretical logic has been discussed by a large number of contemporary theorists in a variety of ways (see, for example, Alexander 1987; Callinicos 1988; and Milner 1993),