Katveessa – pieni toimijuus kriittisenä avauksena toiminnan teoriaan

In the Dead Zone - The Small Action as a Critical Opening to the Theory of Action

Action, in its broadest sense, is about being in motion, and thus about movement. In the action theoretical discussions of social sciences, action is defined by extensive scale and more demanding outcomes, such as large-scale change and social transformation. Embedded in the Weberian and Parsonian heritage in social theory, action is described as a spot-like event in individual, rational and mental terms, which highlight intentionality, choice and normativity. However, the rational and goal-oriented notion of human action and agency has its limits; indeed, it is a problematic notion insofar as these precarious modes of action are yet to be captured and theorized. In this article I will discuss a mode of action as small or even minimal and, applying examples such as waiting and enduring, I discuss both the limits and ambiguity of action. Some phenomenological discussions, notably of Hannah Arendt (1958) with her ontology of plurality as the condition of action, and action-network theory bring important contributions to the theory of social action, especially from to the emblem of ambiguity of action.

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