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Connected by CommitmentOppression and Our Responsibility to Undermine It$
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Mara Marin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190498627.001.0001

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Modeling Commitment for Structural Relations

Modeling Commitment for Structural Relations

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter 2 Modeling Commitment for Structural Relations
Source:
Connected by Commitment
Author(s):

Mara Marin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190498627.003.0003

Chapter 2 extends the concept of commitment from personal to social structural relations and begins the argument that our implication in social structures puts us in relations analogous to those of personal commitments. This analogy has a descriptive and a normative element. Descriptively, this book’s notion of commitment captures the idea that social structures are the accumulated effects of our actions. Normatively, it captures the claim that we owe obligations to each other in virtue of our structural relationships to each other, that is, because our actions, accumulated over time, are responsible for reproducing the structure. It illustrates these claims with the example of a woman who attempts to change the gendered nature of parenting. This view of social structures as commitments is an antidote to the powerlessness we otherwise experience in our relation to unjust structures.

Keywords:   commitment, gendered parenthood, social structure, Sewell William, structural change, agency as control, analogy

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