The Myth of Social Action, first published in 1996, is a powerful critique of the sociology of the time and a call to reject the prevailing orthodoxy. Arguing that sociological theory had lost its way, Colin Campbell mounts a case for a new 'dynamic interpretivism' a perspective on human conduct which is more inkeeping with the spirit of traditional Weberian action theory. Discussing and dismissing one by one the main arguments of those who reject individualistic action theory, he demonstrates that this has been wrongly rejected in favour of the interactional, social situationalist approach now dominating sociological thought.
1. Introduction; 2. Action reported missing in action theory; 3. Action and social action; 4. Action versus social action; 5. The rise of social situationalism; 6. The argument by denial; 7. Accounts and actions; 8. The argument by exclusion; 9. The argument by incorporation; 10. The 'learning everything from others' thesis; 11. The communicative act paradigm; 12. The linguistic turn for the worse; 13. The myth of social action; 14. The obstacle which is social situationalism; 15. Bringing action back in.