Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952552 | Print ISBN: 9780761926115 | Online ISBN: 9781412952552| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Karin Knorr Cetina
Postsocial analysis attempts to develop an understanding of current changes of social forms and of sociality in general. Broadly speaking, what postsocial theory aspires to is the analysis and discussion of an environment in which the social principles and structures we have known hitherto are emptying out and other elements and relationships are taking their place. While it may be correct that human beings are by nature social animals, forms of sociality are nonetheless changing, and the change may be pronounced in periods of cumulative historical transitions. The term postsocial shines an analytic light on contemporary transitions that challenge core concepts of human interaction and solidarity and that point beyond a period of high social formation to one of more limited sociality and alternative forms of binding self and other. Postsocial developments are sustained by changes in the structure of the self; these changes are captured by models that postsocial ...