After a period in which sociology was torn apart by the polarized claims of micro- and macro-methodology, an increasing number
of sociologists are now attempting a fusion of the two approaches. In this volume, some of the most distinguished sociologists
set out possible resolutions of the debate. Each of the chapters, placed in perspective by the editors' prologue, approaches
the problem from a unique angle. Aaron Cicourel argues for a macro-basis of social interaction; Randall Collins shows how
the macro consists of an aggregate of micro-episodes; Troy Duster presents a methodological model for generating a systematic
data base across different contexts of social action through his examination of the procedures governing screening for inherited
disorders. Rom Harre launches a philosophical attack on what he sees as a spurious bifurcation of micro- and macro-levels.
Anthony Giddens explores the problem of unintended consequences, and Gilles Fauconnier, through a depiction of Jesuitical
casuistry, shows how vital clues to macro-structure can be elicited from the micro-phenomenon of language. Victor Lidz continues
the language theme in his chapter on the implications of advances in linguistic theory for macro-systems theory. Niklas Luhmann
illustrates the micro-macro problem by the communication about law in interaction systems. The theory of historical materialism
is reassessed by Jurgen Habermas. Taking the example of Renault and electric vehicles, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour investigate
how micro-actor status is attained and the sociologist's involvement in this transformation. Finally, Pierre Bourdieu, writing
on men and machines, analyses the historical imperatives that create the complex relation between man and his environment.