Tag Archives: A Theory of Fields

what the analyst must do

“Taken together, our view forces the analyst to do more than just tell the story of how the winners were inevitable. Instead, the analyst must carefully specify the players, consider their resource endowments, understand the nature of the collective projects at stake, and study what courses of action were possible and then successful or unsuccessful.” (Fligstein & McAdam, A Theory of Fields, p. 171)

higher education and the professions

“We see the relationship between this expansion of schooling and the proliferation of strategic action fields as reciprocal. On the one hand, the proliferation and increasing complexity of strategic action fields produces a demand for individuals who have high-level organizational skills. But these newly educated individuals also have the social and technical skills to fashion new strategic action fields and work to expand existing ones.” (Fligstein & McAdam, A Theory of Fields, p. 79)

inner view

“For most of us, most of the time, the latent threat of the outer perspective is held in check by the lived experience of the “inner perspective.” Our daily lives are typically grounded in the unshakable conviction that no one’s life is more important than our own and that the world is an inherently meaningful place. But one does not will this inner view into existence of his or her own accord. It is instead a collaborative product, born of the everyday reciprocal meaning making, identity conferring efforts we engage in with those around us.” (Fligstein & McAdam, A Theory of Fields, p. 41)

network analysis

“In short, the analyst always has to provide the theoretical underpinning for what is important about the relationships (i.e., networks) being studied for any given outcome. If a field is really an arena in which individuals, groups, or organizations face off to capture some gain as our view suggests, then the underlying logic of fields is not encoded in the structure of the network but in the cultural conceptions of power, privilege, resources, rules, and so on that shape action within the strategic action field.” (Fligstein & McAdam, A Theory of Fields, p. 30)