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A.N. Whitehead, Information and Social Theory

Halewood, M (2005) 'A.N. Whitehead, Information and Social Theory.' Theory, Culture & Society, 22 (6). 73 - 94. ISSN 0263-2764

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Abstract

This article introduces the work of A.N. Whitehead and analyses his relevance to contemporary social theory. It demonstrates how a range of authors have recently utilized the work of Whitehead across a range of topics and holds that there is a need for a general introduction to his work that will open up his ideas and possible impact to a wider readership. White-head's work is introduced through a discussion of his critique of the philosophical and scientific conceptions of substance and materiality, which led to the establishment of nature as passive, external and distinct from the human or social realm. The article further analyses some of the consequences of this position, such as viewing all data or information about the world as inert. This leads to Whitehead's argument that the retention of these ‘outdated’ conceptions has contributed to contemporary misconceptions of the status of objects within science, for example – genes. I suggest that Whitehead offers much to social theory especially in terms of re-thinking the natural/social distinction and moving beyond linguistic and discursive production to a theory of genuine construction that can incorporate both materiality and subjectivity. © 2005, SAGE. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elena Pupaza
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 23:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10242

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