summerbabyy
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Help, I'm trying to understand these two terms, can someone provide some real life examples?
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Claire461
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(Original post by summerbabyy)
Help, I'm trying to understand these two terms, can someone provide some real life examples?
Can I join you, please? I'm having the same problem.
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redinthegrey
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Context would help a lot!
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Claire461
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One example might be in connection with the Kray Twins growing up.
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redinthegrey
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I'm not familiar with them
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SocTeach
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Agency - think free will. It's the idea that individual actors (people) can make decisions for themselves. This is the focus of social action, interpretivist sociology.

Structure - think social factors that shape our behaviour. Examples would be the economy of a particular society, or it's gender norms, or its religious culture. It's the idea that behaviour is shaped by external factors and not just a matter of free will. This is the focus of structural, positivist sociology.

Religion is a good example of this debate. Most would say their beliefs are a matter of their own free thought (agency), yet it can't be a coincidence that children born in a Muslim-majority country tend to be Muslims. Our thoughts are both a combination of our free will and a product of the social structure we live in.
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Claire461
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Thank you. Great post. So could I incorporate the concept of structure/agency/free will and migration into something about global and endemic Child Abuse in the Catholic Church both as an organisation (structure) and the individuals (agency) within that organisation?
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SocTeach
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Absolutely. There is lots of literature on the structural causes behind it (although it probably isn't worded like that...it's a bit sociology-speak), such as the culture of abstinence, power and sexual repression within the Catholic Church. However without considering agency you are in danger of making excuses for individual criminality (one of the main criticisms of structural sociology in particular around crime).

Happy to help. Good luck!
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Claire461
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Thank you😃
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