Abjection and Liminality

According to Kristeva (1982), entities which transgress the psycho-cultural boundaries between subject and object, particularly those which appear simultaneously part of the living body-subject and yet not, inhabit a ‘space of abjection’ and generate an uncanny unease for those who encounter them. From this perspective, which seeks to yoke Mary Douglas’s ‘matter out of place’ (1966) to Lacanian theory, the psychic repulsion experienced with regard to the ambivalent and fetishized object prompts efforts to ‘cast it out’ from the self, in order to more firmly establish oneself as fully within the symbolic order.

The Social Contract, Consensus, and Foucault

Another consequence of the assumption that individuals materialize society through their behavior lies in the hypothesis that structural problems of society (e.g., excessive differentiation without sufficient integration, or contradictions in the structures and behavioral expectations of society) manifest themselves in deviant individual behavior and can be empirically ascertained in such behavior.

Attribution and Causality

Every attempt to specify causalities engenders ever greater difficulties. What will happen never depends on a single event. It is always a concatenation of circumstances, so that uncertainty multiplies in proportion to the rigour of the analysis. (Risk: A Sociological Theory, 41)

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