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      Resistance in Unjust Times: Archer, Structured Agency and the Sociology of Health Inequalities

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          Abstract

          Few sociologists dissent from the notion that the mid- to late 1970s witnessed a shift in capitalism’s modus operandi. Its association with a rapid increase of social and material inequality is beyond dispute. This article opens with a brief summation of contemporary British trends in economic inequalities, and finds an echo of these trends in health inequalities. It is suggested that the sociology of health inequalities in Britain lacks an analysis of agency, and that such an analysis is crucial. A case is made that the recent critical realist contribution of Margaret Archer on ‘internal conversations’ lends itself to an understanding of agency that is salient here. The article develops her typology of internal conversations to present characterizations of the ‘focused autonomous reflexives’ whose mind-sets are causally efficacious for producing and reproducing inequalities, and the ‘dedicated meta-reflexives’ whose casts of mind might yet predispose them to mobilize resistance to inequalities.

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          Outline of a Theory of Practice

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            Realist social theory

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              Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sociology
                Sociology
                SOC
                spsoc
                Sociology
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                0038-0385
                1469-8684
                February 2013
                February 2013
                : 47
                : 1
                : 142-156
                Affiliations
                [1-0038038512455878]University College London, UK
                Author notes
                [*]Graham Scambler, Academic Department of Infection and Population Health, UCL, Mortimer Market Centre, London WC1E 6JB, UK. Email: g.scambler@ 123456ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                10.1177_0038038512455878
                10.1177/0038038512455878
                4107758
                3f01495b-79d7-4a2c-bf69-ba2d574b58e2
                © The Author(s) 2012

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page( http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).

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                archer on internal conversations,critical realism,dedicated meta-reflexives,focused autonomous reflexives,health inequalities,mobilizing for resistance,neoliberalism,social and material inequalities

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