Margareth Archer- Curriculum Vitae#

Full CV(info)

  • B.Sc.(Soc.), London School of Economics, University of London, 1964.
  • Ph.D. London School of Economics, University of London, 1967.(Thesis: The Educational Aspirations of English Working Class Parents: their formation and influence on children's school achievement).
  • Post-Doctoral Study at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne, Paris, following the Doctorat du Troisième Cycle in the section 'Sciences Administratives'.

Posts held
  • Christ's College, Cambridge (Supervisor) 1964-6
  • London School of Economics (Graduate Tutor) 1965-6
  • University of Reading (Lecturer) 1966-73
  • University of Warwick (Reader) 1973-79
  • University of Warwick (Professor) 1979 to date

(Principal) Professional Roles held
  • President, International Sociological Association1986-90.
  • President, International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on ‘Sociology of Education’ 1978-82.
  • Editor of Current Sociology (Journal of the ISA) 1972 – 82
  • Member of European Amalfi Prize Scientific Committee
  • Member of (Austrian) Wittgenstein Prize Committee
  • Member of Presidential Nominating Committee and World Congress Programme Committee of the International Sociological Association
  • Vatican Jubilee Meeting for Academics: John Searle and I represented the social sciences

Past University Duties (Administrative)
  • Chairperson of Department
  • Professor Responsible for Staff Director of Research
  • Member of Board of Faculty of Social Studies
  • Member of Interdisciplinary Research Committee
  • Member of Professorial Promotions Committee
  • Member of Accommodation Committee
  • Member of Promotions Committee
  • Member of Advisory Boards for Research Centres
  • Search Committee to appoint a new Chancellor of the University

Current Teaching
  • Supervisor of 3 PhD students (no new candidates accepted for 2008-9)
  • Convenor of MA in ‘Philosophy and Social Theory’ and teach the core course
  • Lecture on ‘Research Process and Research Design’, the core PhD course
  • Convenor of the Undergraduate Foundation Course ‘ Sociological Imagination and Investigation’
  • (Courses taught in the past, mainly at post-graduate level, include: ‘The development of Industrial Societies’; ‘ Macro-sociology of Educational Systems’; ’The Structuring of Society’; ‘Contemporary Social Theory’; ‘Personality and Society’; ‘ Sociology and Social Research’; ‘Researching Reflexivity in real time’)

Current ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Large Grant (approx. € 150,000) 2003 - 2008

Devoted to ‘The Internal Conversation: Mediating between Structure and Agency’: a project involving two empirical studies, based upon in-depth interviewing, and a writing programme of books and articles. Final Report just submitted, so evaluation not yet received.
Prior to that I held a three-year ESRC Senior Research Fellowship devoted to ‘Solving the Problem of Structure and Agency by Developing Realist Social Theory’, (1999-2002, value £ 209,069) whose outputs were rated as ‘Outstanding’.
In view of this track record I am advised to return to the ESRC, as soon as the current projected is evaluated, for funding the project(s) detailed in this application.

Current Professional Activities
  • Founder Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciencesand of its Governing Council, 1994 to date.
  • Founder Member: (British) Academy of Social Sciences
  • Member of Academia Europea
  • Co-director for the Centre for Critical Realism
  • One of the three Editors of the Centre for Critical Realism’s two book series with Routledge
  • Bureau International de Sociologie (Paris)
  • Committee of Past-Presidents of the International Sociological Association
  • Member of numerous Editorial Boards for Journals including, International Sociology; Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour; Theory, Culture and Society; Journal of Critical Realism; Journal of Institutional Economics; Sociologia e Politiche Sociali.
  • Developed and Convene the ‘Reflexivity Forum’ to promote research

A summary report on past and present Research and Publications

Three strands of interest integrate my research and publications: the comparative and historical development of social institutions, constitutive of ‘social structure’; the elaboration of my ‘Morphogenetic Approach’ as a theoretical framework for practical use in substantive institutional investigations; and the prospects for the transformation of late Modernity into a fully morphogenetic global society.
My interest in comparative (European) institutions began as a post-doctoral student at the Sorbonne when also working with Bourdieu’s CNRS équipe, culminating in Social Origins of Educational Systems1979. Its 800 pages sought to explain the emergence of centralized State education in France and Russia compared with decentralized systems in England and Denmark and their consequences for subsequent processes and patterns of educational change.
Social Origins represented a preliminary version of my ‘Morphogenetic Approach’, both in theoretical terms and as an explanatory framework for analysing the reproduction and transformation of social institutions in general. It resulted in:
an enduring involvement in contemporary social theory and a sustained critique of theories that conflated ‘ structure’ and ‘agency’: whether this was by ‘downwards conflation’ (normative functionalism and structuralist Marxism); ‘upwards conflation’, see Rational Choice Theory: Resisting Colonlzation ; or, especially, by ‘central conflation’ as in Giddens’ Structuration theory . This generated an interest in Critical Realism as a non-conflationary approach, given its stratified social ontology (Realist Social Theory: the Morphogenetic Approach 1995)
a preoccupation with the need to re-conceptualise key sociological concepts in order to refine the Morphogenetic Approach, namely, ‘structure’, ‘culture’, ‘agency’ and the relations between them. Hence my key books: on culture, Culture and Agency 1988 ; on structure, Realist Social Theory 1995; on agency, Being Human: the Problem of Agency 2000 . My latest books examine the relationship between them and advance ‘Reflexivity’ – the Internal Conversation – as agentially mediating cultural and structural influences. This was first introduced in Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation 2003 , continued in Making our Way through the World: Human Reflexivity and Social Mobility 2007 and the triad will be completed by The Reflexive Imperative, currently in progress .
My research now aims to link-up to the macro-institutional level, via the Voluntary Sector, social movements and cyber-networks; . Specifically, in my current work, The Reflexive Imperative, I am beginning to analyse the novel configuration of relations between State, Market and Third Sector as the tense institutional balance of late (European) Modernity – and its prospects, which will complete my research trajectory over the next decade.
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