publication . Article . 2015

The dilemma of ‘the capable actor’ and the case of disrupted lives

Mianna Meskus;
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  • Published: 02 Jan 2015 Journal: Contemporary Social Science, volume 10, pages 39-51 (issn: 2158-2041, eissn: 2158-205X, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Abstract
This article considers the notion of ‘the capable actor’, a prevalent figure in social theory which contemporary people in Western societies are expected to embrace. The question of agency is approached by looking at the phases of life in which people ‘fail’ to perform individual agentic capacities. The article draws on studies on biographical disruption caused by the loss of a spouse and serious illness on one hand, and on prenatal testing and the loss of an expected child on the other. The article challenges the individualistic notion of agency and shows how action is relationally accomplished through a wider figuration of actors. While persons going through d...
Subjects
free text keywords: General Social Sciences, History
Communities
Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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