Maguire, Brendan
February 1984
Humanity & Society;Feb84, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p91
Academic Journal
The article is a reply to a comment of Professor Glen M. Vernon of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, on a paper written by the author on issues related to individualism. The author believes that there is nothing wrong with imagining the individual to be an inherently social creature. And, indeed, there is nothing wrong with wanting sociology to focus primarily on the social aspects of life in society. There is something very wrong, however, with reducing the individual to a social clone, the ultimate member of society. The author had suggested abandoning the social side of action, but simply that sociological theory should include some consideration of the individualistic side. As Vernon believes social structures determines behavior, especially when talking about criminal behavior, but this concession of individual responsibility gives up too much, for example, individual initiative and creativity. The notion of structural determinism may find a home in structuralist sociology, but it is out of place in humanist sociology.


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