Home Subscribe Login Contact Us Search Journal Articles PAQ RSS Feed

PAQ Articles Search Journal Articles

Coming to Terms with the Complementarity of Agent and Structure

Author: THEO P.C.M. JOCHOMS and MARK R. RUTGERS
Published in PAQ, Vol. 29 No. 4

This article questions how to conceptualize the relation
between different ontologies in the social sciences. Giddens’
Structuration Theory is analyzed as an example of an unifying theory
linking ©agent© and ©structure© ontologies. The concept of interaction is
used to pinpoint Giddens’ notion of the complementarity of these two.
The resulting abstract unification does, however, not result in a unified
social analysis. Rather it implies that we need to ©bracket© the one or the
other approach in empirical observation. This raises the question: What
is complementarity? In this article it is argued the notion of
complementarity as developed in quantum theory (Q-complementarity)
applies to the case at hand. Q-complementarity does not refer to the
possible simultaneous attribution of characteristics, but establishes the
validity of both attributes for describing reality depending on the
circumstances of observation.

Subscribers: Login to read this article

Guests: Subscribe to PAQ, or purchase individual article access for $10.
The article is not available for automatic download. We will email the article to you as a PDF file upon receiving your payment, typically within 24 hours.