Embeddedness of Action

Beyond the Individual Level of Action

From a livelihood perspective on development, we naturally regard two factors that influence strategies of actors to ensure subsistence and survival:

  • The actor's endogenous potential and means (or assets) on the one hand; and
  • Exogenous influencing structures and processes, on the other.

While the previous lesson "Actor-Orientation: The Individual Level" concentrated on the action and its meaning for individual actors - i.e. their endogenous potential and means - this lesson deals with another component that reaches beyond the individual level: it considers exogenous influential structures and processes, while linking the meaning of action to value systems and norms in a societal context.

In other words, the meanings and aims of individual action are influenced by social values and norms. They thus provide a framework for orientation and rules for evaluating the meaningfulness of action.

If you did not in the lesson "Actor-Orientation: The Individual Level", download and read the .pdf in the right hand column, which presents the four components of the theory of action used in this lesson:

Pay special attention to the fourth component which is the special focus of this lesson.

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