::Agency (sociology)


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}} In the social sciences, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. By contrast, structure is those factors of influence (such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, customs, etc.) that determine or limit an agent and his or her decisions.<ref>Barker, Chris. 2005. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-4156-8 p448</ref> The relative difference in influences from structure and agency is debated – it is unclear to what extent a person's actions are constrained by social systems.

One's agency is one's independent capability or ability to act on one's will. This ability is affected by the cognitive belief structure which one has formed through one's experiences, and the perceptions held by the society and the individual, of the structures and circumstances of the environment one is in and the position they are born into. Disagreement on the extent of one's agency often causes conflict between parties, e.g. parents and children.

Agency (sociology) sections
Intro  History  Feelings of agency   Hewson's Classification   See also  References  

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