chapter  27
Structuration Theory
Applications for Family Communication
ByKristen Norwood, Paaige K. Turner
Pages 12

Structuration theory was developed by Anthony Giddens, who provides the most fully developed articulation of the theory in The Constitution of Society. Structuration theory is described by some as interpretive, but implemented by others as a critical theory. Structuration theory's main goal is to "determine the conditions which govern the continuity and dissolution of structures and types of structure" while incorporating a theory of action that connects to a subject and situates action in time and space. Giddens articulates three interconnected types of structures; structures of signification, legitimation, and domination. Since individuals have the ability to reflect upon their knowledge, there is an opportunity to influence social systems and constitute new structures. Giddens conceptualizes communication as constituted by human agency and the medium of that constitution. This makes communication an integral component to social structures. Cultural discourses provide families with recipes for inter/action and, in turn, discourses are produced, reproduced, and challenged by the ways that people "do" family life.