CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Working from qualitative and quantitative data, Andrew Abbott has articulated a general analysis on the constitution of social entities, the making of collectives and the dynamics of professional as well as academic territories. Although he is one of the most prominent contemporary sociologists today, his texts remain for the most part untranslated into French. The aim of this article is to offer a synthetic reading of his analytical insights, which provide food for thought for those seeking an alternative to the opposition between structuralist or institutionalist approaches (inherited from the classical authors of European sociology) on the one hand, and frameworks of thought favouring networks and mobility (linked to the pragmatist tradition) on the other hand. This article also aims to place the notions for which A. Abbott is most often cited (that of professional “jurisdictions”, in particular) in a general perspective, encompassing other social territories and collectives.

  • Processual sociology
  • professions
  • scientific communities
  • Chicago school
  • boundaries
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