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Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales

Print version ISSN 0185-1918


CRISTIANO, Javier L.. Structuring and imaginary: between Giddens and Castoriadis. Rev. mex. cienc. polít. soc [online]. 2011, vol.56, n.213, pp.9-25. ISSN 0185-1918.

This article construes Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration as an unfinished project to formulate an ontology of contingency. This interpretation renews the interest on his writings, in particular on those from the theoretical period (1971-1984), but also reveals a rarely discussed weakness: the subsumption of meaning to the notion of "rule". As a consequence, only low intensity contingencies come under consideration, leaving no room for "events", and this undercuts the ability to interpret social change. After explaining this critique, the article proposes an expansion of Giddens' ideas in light of a different ontology of contingency: the one offered by Cornelius Castoriadis. Under this ontology disruptive events become the focus of attention. As a result of this analysis, Giddens' approach develops into a broader and more dynamic consideration of the relationship between structure and action.

Keywords : contingency; action; creation; event; social significations; A. Giddens; C. Castoriadis.

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