Entering into Relation: Being as Social Being

  • Kenneth C. Bessant


Everyday lived relation is routinely characterized as “social being” and “being-with.” It is for this reason that classical and contemporary theorists view social relations as the foundational units of society. Sociology is, above all else, the study of social relationships, events, and phenomena, all of which are direct expressions of how people “enter into relation” with one another. Notwithstanding extensive academic work on conceptual definitions and typologies, discourse on social relations remains under-theorized. This chapter explores some of the earlier understandings of social relations, as outlined by Tönnies, Weber, and Simmel, followed by more recent discussions of relational emergence and relational ontology. These ideas form the basis for thinking about community as a socially constituted, emergent social phenomenon.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Bessant
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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