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SOCIAL THEORY and the Sociological Discipline(s) - page 19 / 44





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18 ESA Social Theory Conference, Innsbruck, September 11-13, 2008

Jens S. Dangschat

Vienna, Austria

The difference that space makes …

Social theory is – generally speaking – a-spatial. There are, of course, classical works by Simmel and Elias who started to underpin the social meaning of places and space. Moreover, Giddens argued, after having detected the time geography, that there should be no sociology without space. His view on space, however, is tightly connected with an understanding of space like a container, i.e. as a box that can be disconnected from its content like people, infrastructures, nature etc. Doing so, he was meeting more or less the former state of the art of urban and regional sociology, which either neglected space as always present or where following the container view (like human geography).

Following a debate among German social scientists on the meaning of places and the development of a theoretical term ‘space’ from the early 1980s onwards, the paper develops a macro-meso-micro model of space which integrates conditions of the production of

places/ territories (‘place making’, P. Healey) (macro) as much as the re-construction of socio-spatial scenes by individuals and their spatial behaviour (‘spacing’ – M. Löw) based on their socialisation and social position (micro). On the meso level it is concentrated on specific

places under empirical research and phenomenons like segregation, integration

follows , use of

public space etc.

The last aspect concentrates on the question of the competition for attractive sites and among places like cities and regions. Based on the structure-habitus- practise of reproduction formula of social inequalities by Pierre Bourdieu (shp model), there will be developed a double shp model, explaining the production and reproduction of places to stabilise interest systems. The core of the concept will be defined by the ‘habitus of place’, an understanding of value systems embedded in places as result of collective learning in situ which serves independent from the existing actors which are re-defining this local habitus

Liliana Donath & Mariana Slavin Timişoara, Romania

Tax compliance. A behavioural approach

Behavioural finance is a relatively new research area of economy. Though its promoter, Joseph Schumpeter made attempts to use aspects concerning behavioural aspects in his studies, the subject did not become fertile until the late ‘70s. It studies the financial behaviour of various entities (individuals, firms, groups, governments, society) by using o mixture of economic and psychological investigations. The issue that is raised concerns mainly the reaction of economic subjects to the changes perceived in the level and nature of determinants that govern market mechanisms, the tax system, the determinants that drive saving and investing incentives, the attitude toward risk, etc. Traditionally, economic research uses neutral methods to explain attitudes, disregarding emotional reactions.

From a certain point of view, the neoclassical theory declared itself as being „anti behavioural”. But, on the other hand, in the decision making process the psychological foundation, the culture, education, as well as moral, ethics, the historical environment become extremely important in analysing economic incentives. The paper attempts to trace the most important behavioural and sociological determinants of tax compliance that add to those already extensively identified by the rational economy.

The choice of the subject was inspired by everyday reality suggesting that tax payers are influenced in their decision whether to fully pay their debts toward the government or to try to evade, by withdrawing a part of their income from taxation. The paper tries to identify the main sources of behaviour concerning the tax compliance given the fact that this attitude differs greatly among communities and countries. Its originality consists in revealing the main determinants of tax compliance given the experience of different nations.

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