Fri Jun 6, 2008

Performativity avant la lettre

I just noticed the last paragraph of White’s “Notes on the Constituents of Social Structure” (1965), which we’ve been talking about this week.

Either-or intensities and infinitely sharp criteria of membership have been assumed in defining nets and cats. The realities of social structure are more blurred. The most revealing approach to these realities is through analysis of the validation and legitimation structures and processes which settle issues of existence and intensity of ties and attributes in social systems. One special case are the procedures of social research, which to an increasing extent are being built in as an accepted part of the validation and legitimation procedures in current American society, for better or worse.