Reviewing the critique of individualization: the embedded and disembedded theses

Dawson, M. (2012) Reviewing the critique of individualization: the embedded and disembedded theses. Acta Sociologica, 55(4), pp. 305-319. (doi: 10.1177/0001699312447634)

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Abstract

This paper is a review article of the substantial sociological literature on individualization. It is especially concerned with empirical research which questions the largely theoretical claims of Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens. I argue this literature can be split into three camps: Modernist; Interactionist; Discourse. Although all three perspectives come to different conclusions, and use different methods to get there, a synthesis of their conclusions can give us a more empirically informed conception of individualization. This includes an increased focus on: inequality, collective identification, and the political nature of individualization. The paper concludes by suggesting that we can differentiate between a form of ‘disembedded’ individualization, which lacks empirical backing, and an ‘embedded’ conception, which does not.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dawson, Dr Matt
Authors: Dawson, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Acta Sociologica
ISSN:0001-6993
ISSN (Online):1502-3869

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