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Structuration theory is a broad-ranging sociological ontology in which social practices are postulated as the basic constituents of the social world. Sociological ontologies differ from ontologies in the philosophical sense of the term. Whereas philosophical ontologies derive from primordial metaphysical questions such as what is the ultimate nature of being and existence, sociological ontologies begin more modestly by asking questions about the generic (i.e., transcultural and transhistoric) properties of social life subject to sociological inquiry. Prior to structuration theory, two antithetical positions dominated ontological thinking in sociology. On the one hand, individualism maintained that the social world is constituted by actors impelled to behave in certain ways by their own interests or motives or by their interpretations of their situations. On the other hand, collectivism ...

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