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Touraine:Productionde la Societe, Alain de Editions Seuil, Paris,1973 W. J. FREIBERG
unifying pseudo-syntheses of consciousness,a denunciation of all the of mystifications history performedin the name of progress, of consciousness,of the future of reason . . .1 Basicto the structuralistlogic is the contention that surface events-what Lefebvre calls "Everday Life," and level"Tourainecalls"the organizational are to be explained by structures and processesthat occur, hidden and unconscious,beneath the surface. Structuralism is most basically an attempt to uncover these deep structures as the underlying causes that influence and warp the surface level attempts at action and understandingby conscious individuals.2This I take to be one of the basic projects of
Production de la Societe presents an impressive,and I think useful, abstract calculusfor the study of social process. It is a work deeply rooted in the historical materialist tradition, yet it does not consciously relate itself to the works and thinkersof this tradition. It therefore is not in the jargon of this tradition, but creates its own terms and categories, sometimes to the befuddlement of the reader.It is a work that is in some ways more Hegelian than Marxist. Without de la Societe; it is precisely an questionit is thus for the major work of Production effort to provide an analytical scheme Touraine.It is a book that meritsserious the organizareading;for that matter, the length and allowingone to go beyond tionalphenomenaof EverydayLife to see stylewould doom any other approach. theincreasinglyabstractand criticallevels of institutional processes and, finally, of What I want to try to do in this brief itself. Historicity reviewis to point out the basic logic-if you will, the deep structure-of the Touraine,like all structuralists,destroys approach,for I think this is one of the his object of study in the studying of it. book's most important contributionsto Yet this mode of analysismust be distinsociologicaltheory. guished in logic from, say, the equally destructiveand yet unacceptablemethodTouraine, like every other major or ology of a reductionist. In this Touraine potential writer, has denied being a is firmly in the Durkheimian tradition. He "structuralist". Personally, I do not take writes: these denials very seriously, for it does The concept of "social movement" is seem that such a school of thought not separablefrom that of "systemsof exists. Its lack of self-consciousindeed historical action" nor from "social ness is perhapsone of the strongestpieces classes", and therefore also not from of evidence for its existence. Giles the historical situation that permits Deleuze, in placing Michel Foucault what is truly a sociological analysis. within this school, characterizes it as This presupposes that social processes involving: are explicable in themselves, and not by recourse to anotherorderof facts.3 ... a cold and concerted destruction of the subject, a lively distaste for notions of origin, of lost origin, of Touraine thus wants sociological-as recovered origin, a dismantling of opposed to economic-answers to socio-
271 logical questions, but he refuses to begin a study of society with society's discourse about itself. In fact the ideological and political thrust of the book is that this 1001 ways in which a discourse-the society talks about and "knows" itselfmust be broken. This Touraine sees as perhaps the major task of sociologists. It is we who take the sociological level seriously who must see the necessity to ignore the socially produced directives as to how to go about "knowing." It is we who must chose for ourselves a methodological approach that allows us to see behind the facade of the organized authority of values, norms, and roles, the clash of social classes over control of the Historicity. Touraine writes: The analysis of modern society can only be ideological as long as social movements do not bring historicity into experience for sociology to study, describe, and explain. But sociological explanation, paralyzed when it precedes the social action which reveals to it its object, must never reproduce the consciousness of the actors and confuse their discourse with its own task.4 Perhaps one of the most interesting ways to grasp the mode of Touraine's structuralism is to contrast it with that of Louis Althusser. Althusser's structuralism consists of "On the one hand the structure (the economic base: the forces of production and the relations of production); on the other, the superstructure (the State and all the legal, political and ideological forms)."s Althusser presents these as distinguishable levels of social reality: 1) forces and relations of production, 2) political-legal processes, and 3) ideological processes. Like any structuralist, he is interested in the transformational relations between these levels,6 which he characterizes as "... on the one hand determination in the last instance by the (economic) mode of production; on the other, the relative autonomy of the superstructures and their specific effectivity".7 In his essay "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses"8 Althusser makes perfectly clear that the three levels of his structural analysis are phenomenal levels in the world. He summarizes: "Remember that in Marxist theory, the State Apparatus (SA) contains: the Government, the Administration, the Army, the Police, the Courts, the Prisons, etc."9 For Althusser these are social institutions perfectly distinguishable from the "Ideological State Apparatuses (ISA)" such as "the educational ISA, the family ISA, the legal ISA, the political ISA, the tradeunion ISA, the communications ISA, and the cultural ISA."10 Touraine also presents a three level structuralist scheme: 1)Historicity, 2) institutional, and 3) organizational. But his structuralism is a mode of analysis, and not a division of the social world. His structuralism is a methodology of analytical categories, not a scheme of classification. One does not find these levels of analysis in society, for they are categories of thought, an analytical social calculus. In the same manner, one does not find phenomena in the world which are analyzable exclusively as manifestations of one of these levels. For Touraine, every social phenomenon-more precisely the understanding of any phenomenoninvolves elements of all three levels. Both Althusser and Touraine are concerned with the Unity of social life, as Piaget theorizes that any structuralist account would be.~1 But Althusser's Unity is Leninist, one of pure manipulation: the State Apparatus is controlled by the Ruling Class and used for purposes of manipulation in the task of reproduction of the existing conditions of production. Touraine's Unity is Hegelian, the Historicity, as deep structure (as Idea become society's self-production, what with the death of God), makes itself manifest only in and through the real, and therefore institutional and organiza-
tional processesof EverydayLife. That is, we cananalyze and understandthe Hisof type of society-say, toricity a given "Post-Industrial Society"-but it exists in world only in and through given histhe particular realities, such as the torically States. Yet it is of course distinUnited from its manifestations;that is guishable why Touraine can analyze the Soviet as Union having thoroughly different institutionaland organizational processes the from United States, althoughboth are in "Post-Industrial" their Historicity. asks us to classistructuralism Althusser's institutions. Touraine's structuralism fy asksus to analyze institutions to learn whichaspects of them are dependent on largerscale social patterns emanating fromthe nature of production and class and which aspects of them are relations, autonomousand based on historical particularities,the intervention of protest the movements, emergenceof new values, andso on. It is only in and throughthese institutions that social production, and therefore the social production of Historicity, occurs in the first place. So Touraine's system takes far more seriously than Althusser's the bi-directional that operatesbetween the levels. causality
of tions classes)holding State power as a function of their class objec. tives . 13 Touraine's analysis of political processes cover such a totalitariansituation as can Althusserdescribes, but it also can the provide theoretical basis for a deep of analysis liberal States and the complex of mixture class determinationand political openness one wittnesses therein. Touraine's chapter "Le systeme politique ou institutional" is for me one of the contributionsof the book, because major itprovidesa basisfor a political sociology thatsurpassesthe limitations of Marxist, and liberal analyses in allowing pluralist considerationof all of their simultaneous truths. partial
Touraine's analysis of the general processes of political systems on the one handdoes not claim that there is a oneto-one representation of antagonistic socialclasses in the institutionalsystemthereis, of course, a complex pattern of yet on under- and over-representation; hand the political system is not theother merelythe reduction of Historicityto a political process defined and controlled by a rulingclass. Just as in the Historicity ofsociety there is unity (domination) and Perhapsnowhere is the contrast more diversity(opposition), so there is a tranvisible than in the analysis of what for scriptionof this into the political system. both social theorists are the middle level- For Touraine, political institutions are political processes. Althusser'sanalytical always simultaneously instruments of system is really not far advanced from constraint,as the political form of social Lenin's State and Revolution; as he puts domination, and of legitimation, as it, "... what I would propose to add to mechanisms of discussion, negotiation the "Marxist theory" of the State is andtransaction.The Institutionalsystem already there in so many words.''2 He in Touraine's scheme mediates between part this summarizes as: Historicity and Social Organization; is to transmitthe (usual) of its function 1) The State is the repressive State complexties of historical problems and apparatus, 2) State power and State class relations to specific solutions in apparatus must be distinguished, social organizations, while conversely it 3) the objective of class struggle con- responds to the daily problems and cerns State power, and in consequence protests that come up to it from the the use of the State apparatusby the everyday organizationalprocesses. So, a classes (or alianceof classesor of frac- political system is seen as havingelements
273 of unity-the entrance of the situation of class domination into political life, the political unity of national boundaries, etc., but also elements of plurality-the entrance of complex political and societal problems from the Historicity, and the presence of opposed interest groups in the political process. Thus, although the ruling class enters political life from above and from below, as the predeterminer of the limits of possible political decisions and in the form of various interest groups, it is not the case that all political decisions are, or can be, taken directly in its favor. Institutionalization is seen, accordingly, as the output of the political process in two directions: first, as a response to pressures from above, which are in considerable part the manipulative efforts of the ruling class, but which are also in part responses to situational pressures of changing Historicity where solutions cannot only be in the interest of those who dominate. Secondly, institutionalization occurs as a response to pressures from below, particularly to protest movements and popular discontent, but also to situational pressures of inefficiencies in organizational patterns, inefficiencies and problems which, after all, have historically often been allieviated by legislating an increase in political participation and a decrease in the economic exploitation of the popular classes. To my mind the sophisticated institutional analysis Touraine presents in Production de la Societe is a major contribution to political sociology. So is the extensive chapter on "Social Movements," that finally gives real analytical power to a major sociological concept which had been intellectually and ideologically misshaped by such earlier efforts as those of Heberle,14 Turner and Killean,15 and especially Smelser.16 It is the adequacy of Touraine's theory of social movements that permitted him to write one of the only three or four useful books out of the nearly 200 published on the French student uprising of 1968.17 His book exhibits the tri-structured mode of analysis in that it may be read on three levels: as an account of the events of May, 1968, as an analysis of the causes or the meaning and patterns of these events, and as a theoretical orientation in which the France of May, 1968, can fit into a larger time and space perspective. I find Production de la Societe a major contribution to theoretical sociology. I see this to be on two levels. First, there is the rescuing of structuralist analysis as a powerful and sound methodology. Secondly, there is the presentation of such concepts as "Historicity," "institutional system," and "social movement" which seem to me powerful analytical tools that can be put to use in both empirical and in further theoretical studies. As I hinted early in this review, the book is long and dense; at times the style of writing tears away at one's understanding of the discussion like horse-briar tears at one's legs in treking through dense underbrush. But the serious reader is well rewarded for his efforts; there are moments of profundity and even of wisdom in this book. Just wear some heavy boots.
1. Deleuze, Giles, "Un nouvel archiviste," Critique,No. 274 (1970), p. 195. 2. On this see Ehrmann,Jacques.Structuralism; Lane, Michael, Introduction to Structuralism; DeGeorge,R. and F., The StructuralistsFrom Marx to Levi-Strauss; Lefebvre,Henri,Au-delddu structuralism. 3. Touraine,Alain,Productionde la Societe, p. 386. 4. Touraine, Alain, La Societe Post-Industrielle,p. 311. 5. Althusser, Louis,For Marx,p. 111. 6. Piaget,Jean, Structuralism, 10. p. 7. Althusser,Louis,op. cit., p. 111. 8. Althusser, Louis, "Ideology and Ideolo(Notes towardsan gical State Mechanisms Investigation),"in Lenin and Philosophy and OtherEssays.
9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Althusser, Louis, ibid., p. 136. Althusser, Louis, ibid., p. 137. Piaget, Jean, op. cit., p. 6. Althusser, Louis, op. cit., p. 135. Althusser, Louis, ibid., p. 135. Heberle, Rudolf, Social Movements.
15. Turner, Ralph H. and Killian, LewisM., CollectiveBehavior. 16. Smelser, Neil S., Theory of Collective Behavior. 17. See Touraine,Alain, The May Movement. 18. Freiberg,J. W., in Touraine,Alain, ibid., p. 5.
Martin Green, The von Richthofen Sisters. The Triumphant and the Tragic Modes of Love. (New York, Basic Books, 1974). 396 pp.
JOHNR. STAUDE This is a work of intellectual and cultural history that breaks new ground in what was already a well-tilled field, the biographies of Max Weber and D. H. Lawrence. Martin Green has focussed his study on the two women who most inspired these men. In his subtle and highly imaginative treatment we come to know not only these two fascinating sisters, but also the larger social and cultural worlds within which they exercised their seductive and creative powers. One of them, Else Jaffe, centered in Heidelberg, became one of the muses of the critical intelligence of our century. Her sister, Frieda Lawrence, became one of the muses of our erotic imagination. This book is particularly appealing because of the author's ability to contextualize these extraordinary characters by comparing and contrasting them with such other intriguing figures as Lou Andreas Salome, Isadora Duncan, Alma Mahler-Werfel, Emma Goldman, and, of course, Marianne Weber, Max Weber's widow and biographer. Green's thesis is provacative. He maintains that without the von Richthofen
sisters Max Weber and D. H. Lawrence could not have become the creative geniuses they were. While it is a fascinating hypothesis, Green does not have sufficient evidence to make his case fully convincing. In his last chapter, entitled "How do we know all this?" he openly admits that he has "taken liberties of interpretation." He justifies his non-scholarly procedure by appealing to his confidence in his own intuition. While some conscientious scholars may balk at Green's intuitive approach, I think his book deserves a careful reading, for it is quite possible that in this imaginative reconstruction he has opened up new avenues of thought and interpretation that others may explore further. Green realized that his approach was somewhat unconventional, and raises a number of important methodological issues in the process of explaining "how we know all this." I agree with him that the study of literature and of intellectual history today "badly needs to be set back inside a new and living context . . ., not a history of ideas context, but a context of the history of sensibility of imagination." Green's book offers us a portrait not only of the von Richthofen sisters, and the men they inspired, but through an examination of the later influence of Weber and Lawrence, becomes a profound commentary on the intellectual and cultural history of Germany, England and the
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