(a) My own concern as a working sociologist is to develop and refine an analytical
framework that is useful for conducting substantive analyses of why the cultural order
– or part of it – is, in Max Weber’s words, ‘so rather than otherwise’. That is why I call
the Morphogenetic approach an ‘explanatory framework’, in other words, a practical
toolkit (Parker, 2000: 69–85). This means attempting to provide guidelines to produce
particular explanations of cultural phenomena in different times and places, the most
How the prior context in which cultural interaction develops influences the form it
Which relations between agents respond most closely to these influences and which
tend to cross-cut or nullify them.
Most generally, under what conditions cultural interaction results in morphostasis
rather than morphogenesis.
One can just as easily apply this to the structural order as well, or to both the cultural and structural, at the same time. In a future article, to come out shortly in Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CRISTAL), I pay more attention to the human and agentic element. I believe that if we do wish to understand how teaching and learning can be enhanced, it is precisely the interplay between structure, culture and human interaction, that needs to be investigated. What interests me personally in all of this, is the human or individual component, and the extent to which this is indeed reflexive, or more unconscious or habitual or conditioned, as critics of the work of Margaret Archer argue.
Archer, M.S. & Elder-Vass, D., 2011. Cultural System or norm circles? An exchange. European Journal of Social Theory, 15(1), pp.93–115. Available at: http://est.sagepub.com/cgi/doi/10.1177/1368431011423592 [Accessed May 31, 2014].
Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., van Schalkwyk, S & Winberg, C. 2014. Institutional context matters: the professional development of academics as teachers in South African higher education. Higher Education. Available at: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10734-014-9777-2 [Accessed July 2, 2014].