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Alain Touraine (b. 1925) is a French sociologist and engaged public intellectual in the democratic socialist tradition. He has been involved in a long-term project that seeks to assess the transformative potential of collective social actors, particularly in the advanced industrial nations. In so doing, Touraine has sought to articulate an antifunctionalist and post-Marxist theoretical perspective that he has described as both a “sociologie actionnaliste” and the sociology of the “selfproduction of society.” His work reflects a distinctive engagementwith the sociological classics, resulting in a unique blend of Marxist and non-Marxist social theory. Unlike contemporary theorists who have sought to unite agency and structure into one comprehensive theoretical framework, Touraine has tended to simply ignore structure because he is convinced that action is antecedent to ...

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