Workshop 1

Institutions as social constructs and social construction through institutions

June 21 2013

Surrey University

Are all institutions social constructs? Which definitions of institutions fit this conceptualization better and which approaches do not fit at all? What is the role of diffusion of institutions in this context? Are all social constructs institutions? What are the alternative ways of relating institutions to social construction of reality? Are institutions rational or rationalised? How do institutions relate to social structures and how do they relate to accelerated social change?

The first workshop of the project will tackle these questions in order to identify commonalities and differences between social constructionism and institutionalisms. It will explore the theoretical and methodological compatibility of social constructionist and institutionalist approaches.

For this purpose we will bring together researchers from different disciplines. We expect that the participants will benefit significantly from the opening lecture by Professor George Thomas who is internationally recognised for his work on diffusion of institutions and the world culture.

The aim of the workshop will be to encourage a dialogue between scholars and clarify similarities as well as differences between social constructionism and institutionalisms.

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