Outline of a Structure and Agency to Hometown Transnationalism

  • Thomas Lacroix
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


The structure and agency approach was forged in reaction to both behaviourist studies which posit society as an aggregation of interest-driven practices of individuals, and to functionalist and structuralist studies which view actors as nothing but parts of wider societal mechanics. The structure and agency approach can be defined as a heuristic model whose ambition is to unravel the thread that goes from individual action to the constitution of societies as an ensemble of various structural formations (political and economic institutions, culture and pattern of social interactions). This approach is marked by the will to assert actors’ capacity to act upon their lives and make a difference. Under this umbrella term, one can find three competing theories: Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice (Bourdieu 1998), Antony Giddens’s structuration (Giddens 1984) and Margaret Archer’s morphogenetics (Archer 1995). Beyond their discrepancies, what they have in common is to take social practices as the contact point through which actors affect and are affected by social structures.


Host Country Social Institution Civil Society Organisation Communicative Rationality Emergent Behaviour 
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Copyright information

© Thomas Lacroix 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Lacroix
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PoitiersFrance

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