Notes and glances
“With some provocation, this —- school of thought could use as its
slogan what Mrs Thatcher famously exclaimed (but for very different
reasons!): ‘There is no such a thing as a society.’
——- In [this] alternative
view, ‘social’ is not some glue that could fix everything including
what the other glues cannot fix; it is what is glued together by many
other types of connectors.
At first, this definition seems absurd since it risks diluting sociology
to mean any type of aggregate from chemical bonds to legal ties, from
atomic forces to corporate bodies, from physiological to political assemblies.
But this is precisely the point that this alternative branch of
social theory wishes to make as all those heterogeneous elements
might be assembled anew in some given state of affairs. Far from
being a mind-boggling hypothesis, this is on the contrary the most
common experience we have in encountering the puzzling face of the social.
A new vaccine is being marketed, a new job description is
offered, a new political movement is being created, a new planetary
system is discovered, a new law is voted, a new catastrophe occurs. In
each instance, we have to reshuffle our conceptions of what was
associated together because the previous definition has been
made somewhat irrelevant. We are no longer sure about what
‘we’ means; we seem to be bound by ‘ties’ that don’t look like regular
— from Introduction pg 1-6