Front Cover

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

The initial opportunity to organize the ideas contained herein was afforded by an invitation to teach at a 1997 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute on Intelligibility and Background Practices at the University of California, Santa Cruz. ...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xxii

This book is about the constitution of social life: the nature of social existence, what it consists in, and the character of its transformation. The work’s most general claim is that the best way to approach these topics is to tie social life to something called “the site of the social.” ...

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SOCIAL ORDERS

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pp. 1-58

Order is a basic dimension of any domain of entities. Things tend not to form random aggregates of continuously metamorphosing matters, but instead to hang together as clusters of interrelated determinate stuff. Order is the basic disposition of a domain of entities, the way that things are laid out ...

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PRACTICES

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pp. 59-122

Now and again, I have suggested that social orders are not self-standing or self-propagating configurations, but that they instead exist and evolve only in some context encompassing them. The current chapter argues that this context is a nexus of social practices. ...

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THE SITE OF THE SOCIAL

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pp. 123-188

Social life transpires through human activity and is caught up in orders of people, artifacts, organisms, and things. As such, it is not just immersed in a mesh of practices and orders, but also exists only as so entangled. The mesh of practices and orders is the site where social life takes place. ...

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BECOMING AND CHANGE

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pp. 189-264

Movement and change have filled the previous chapters, more or less explicitly whenever causality was at issue and relatively unmarked in all the substantive discussions of orders, practices, and the social site. Their omnipresence reflects the fact that agency is the central motor of a constant becoming that sweeps the social site. ...

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CODA

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pp. 265-268

This book has analyzed the constitution of sociality through an account of the social site, the context as part of which human coexistence inherently transpires. This site is an overall mesh of practices and orders, itself organized as a nexus of practice-order bundles, nets, and other complexes. ...

List of References

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pp. 269-282

Index

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pp. 283-295

Back Cover

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