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Self-Reflexivity

The notion of self-reflexivity is a relatively prominent one in contemporary social science (and especially sociological) debate, not least because a self-reflexive or self-conscious attitude and disposition toward everyday life is posited by a number of theorists to be a defining characteristic of the late-modern condition. As Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash explain it, “the more societies are modernized, the more agents (subjects) acquire the ability to reflect on the social conditions of their existence and to change them accordingly” (1994, 174). Thus, it is widely posited that in contemporary life-worlds, agents are positioned with increasing capacities to reflect on and take up a knowing, critical, and even playful stance toward a range of issues, including those relating to identity, intimacy, the ...

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