"There is a too common tendency, among non-sociologists as well as many sociologists, to see the social as reducible to differences between groups or classes of individuals. As soon as social differences are introduced, the focus is on differences between social classes, social positions, socio-professional and socio-cultural categories, etc. Rather more rarely, attention turns to socially constructed differences between the sexes, or differences between generations (which are often differences between frameworks of socialization). But almost never without prompting, is there any idea that ‘cognitive’, ‘psychical’ and ‘behavioural’ differences between two individuals from the ‘same’ social milieu (or, better, the same family) are also social differences, in the sense that they have been socially generated in social relations, from social (socializing) experiences, or that cases which are atypical , exceptional in terms of probability, can also be interpreted sociologically. In the same way, it is rather rare to view the social (social differences) from the standpoint of the variety of different social situations which one and the same actor constantly deals with in everyday life.
It is important to emphasize, therefore, that the social cannot be reduced to social relations between groups, and particularly to socio-professional, socio-economic or socio-cultural differences, if we are not to give the impression that more fine-grained differences are no longer socially generated, so that individual cognitive structures, and those of emotionality and sensitivity, etc., would lie outside the range of sociology. Social means relationship. And not all social differences are reducible to differences between social groups (whatever the criteria used to characterize these)."
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