Chapter 1: Why relational sociology?
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Relational sociology has developed as a critique of sociology's fruitless division between the micro and the macro. This chapter presents the view that society is advocated as a process arising between actors - a process that unfolds in relationships. The sociological discussion of micro and macro is presented through a critical examination of such key concepts as action, lifeworld, structure, and society, followed by a presentation of relational sociology and its starting points. But relational sociology can be criticized for unilaterally emphasizing process and network; nor has it developed any theory about the way relationships are held together. Rather I propose a reconnection of the relational sociology of Max Weber and Georg Simmel. For Weber, a relationship arises "when the action of each takes account of that of the others and is oriented in these terms". Weber also distinguishes between open and closed relationships. By adopting Weber's perspective, it becomes natural to see organizations as a type of relationship. One purpose of this book is to show how theories about organizations can contribute to the development of a relational sociology.