The nature of structure: a biosocial approach

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This paper considers how developments within the neurosciences might be applied to advance sociologists’ (and other social scientists’) understanding of social selves and social processes and, importantly, why this might be a fruitful pursuit despite some residual reservations within the discipline. With respect to the latter, the argument presented is firstly approached by briefly reflecting upon sociologists’ lingering reticence with respect to engagement with biology, albeit that there has been some softening of this position over the last decade or so. This piece asserts that overcoming remaining sociological reservations regarding the biological offers considerable potential, in terms of enhancing our theoretical models and understanding of aspects of the social world, potentially offering fresh insights with respect to some perennial issues and concepts. Here, an example of this potential is offered through a neurosociological reframing of the foundations of social structure and the rationalization of conduct.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages18
JournalThe Sociological Review Monographs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Sociological Review Monograph Series: Biosocial Matters: Rethinking Sociology-Biology Relations in the Twenty-First Century


  • neurosociology
  • biosocial
  • social constructionism
  • extended mind
  • the social map
  • social structure
  • rationalisation


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