Coleman versus Collins: The Two Different Approaches Towards Action Theory in American Sociology

Jiří Šubrt



The article confronts James Coleman’s and Randall Collins’s approaches towards action theory: reviews both their similarities (based on the importance of micro-sociological perspective for understanding social macro-level) and diff erences (their attitude towards the assumed rational nature of human action). Coleman supports the homo oeconomicus thesis and understands actors as beings, which make rational decisions and direct their actions on the basis of costs and gains calculations. Collins, on the other hand, emphasizes the extra-rational factors of emotions and routine. By putting up these approaches against each other two ideal type constructions arise, which are particular intellectual modes yet cannot  comprehend social reality in its full complexity.

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: