In my view, one can distinguish an epistemic or theoretical sense of constitution, which is opposed to empiricism, and a somewhat less common ontological or practical sense, the sense in which Marxism claims that ‘we make our own history’ (or society), and various ‘idealist’ theories, such as those of Simmel, Schutz and subsequent ‘phenomenological’ sociologists, claim that ‘society’ is made up of meanings and interpretations which are negotiated in interaction. This distinction is, however, primarily an analytical one; while some theories appear to be concerned solely with one or the other sense of constitution, the majority make reference to both senses. Marxist theories of knowledge, for example, aim to situate epistemic constitution within a broader process of practical constitution in which society is produced by human practice. Conversely, for the idealist theories, the interpretative ‘work’ which constitutes society in an ontological or practical sense is partly or wholly a matter of acts of epistemic or theoretical constitution.