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Sociologists studying the rise of postmodernism have generally concentrated on either macro-level structures of economy or micro-level subjectivities of individuals. Few…
Sociologists studying the rise of postmodernism have generally concentrated on either macro-level structures of economy or micro-level subjectivities of individuals. Few have specified how meso-level actions within concrete institutions have produced both these macro- and micro-changes. Bourdieu's concept of field provides a meso-level concept that allows sociologists to explain the transition to a postmodern society by changes in the composition and competition of producers and consumers struggling for advantage in the economy and culture. The chapter focuses on architecture, revealing that the rise of a postmodern aesthetic was the result of internal changes of this field and their complex interrelation with the external changes of an economy in transition from Fordism to post-Fordism.
It was obvious that we were not breaking new ground. Others have made similar calls many times before, with greater visibility and sustenance. One of us recalled an exuberant conversation with Aage Sørensen in the mid-1980s, for example, when it seemed that a rejuvenated program of sociological inquiry into the dynamics of processes of various kinds might be coming together, with research programs in group process and network dynamics among the vanguard, and books such as Tuma and Hannan's Social Dynamics (1984) offering torchlight. It was clear, of course, that the program would be couched mainly, probably even entirely, in terms of standard analytic theory (there was still little conversation between it and either critical theory or, even less, theory built of dialectical as well as analytical logics), but such would be the necessary beginning of a rejuvenation. The impetus did not generalize as well as one would have liked, however. The editor of Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Dahms has repeatedly stressed in his works, including some that have appeared in past volumes of this series (Dahms, 2002, 2008), that greater concerted effort to install and nurture a systematic program of theory, most especially one of critical theory, that gives central emphasis to the dynamics of process is and will be vital to the future health of sociology in particular and of the social sciences in general. This volume was announced with that background in mind. The resulting contents offer a variety of responses to the call. At one time we were brash enough (or one of us was brash enough) to imagine that an outpouring of manuscripts would yield enough content for two volumes (27 and 28), not just one. Unfortunately, we must be content with a singleton, at least for now.
The development of the ResIDe Electronic Library at the University of the West of England, Bristol, is traced from its origins as an eLib funded research project…
The development of the ResIDe Electronic Library at the University of the West of England, Bristol, is traced from its origins as an eLib funded research project. Different aspects of the system are analysed through their potential to increase economy, efficiency and effectiveness in library services. This analysis is related to the utility that it can provide to differing sponsors and the likelihood of their making supporting resources available. While economy and efficiency are relatively easy concepts to define and use, effectiveness can be both contested and multifaceted, varying in accordance with both subjective preference and interests represented. Competing views of effectiveness needed to be balanced whilst emphasising those aspects of the system that would appeal to senior UWE management in a time of the rising “audit society” in higher education.