Anthony Giddens’ Model of Structuration

The theory of structuration proposed by Anthony Giddens offers perspectives on the varied human behavior based on the synthesis of agency and structure effects. The structuration model asserts that human action’s capacity is influenced by different facets of the society, such as the robust, stable societal structures and an individual’s expression of will (Segre, 2014). He also proposed that the systems and rules that guide humans’ actions are created and reinforced simultaneously as the activities take place.

For example, the globalization process is driven by the various advances in technology, which consequently frees humans from time and space constraints and the boundaries that define them in general, such as their geographical, economic, and political contexts (Dillon, 2014). According to Dillon (2014), Anthony Giddens, based on his structuration theory, argued that the distancing from time and space’s fundamental aspects best describes globalization. Hence, it is imperative to note that globalization occurs due to the different societal structures and government policies put in place, which then influences human action.

Giddens also explained how structures exist both within agents or individuals and as an outcome by expounding on the structure’s duality. Using the model of structuration to describe modernization, Giddens argued that the different systems in a country, such as families and cities, which have social relationships among those in it, played a considerable role in modernization (Dillon, 2014). Structures are put in place to allow for the operationalization of the system. In the modernization process of nations such as China, reforms organized to alter the prevailing structures made it easier to operationalize the strategy, leading to modernization.

The move towards self-employment by Chinese peasants to provide for their families, although not popular at first, influenced the country’s prevailing structures. This shows that their inherent willingness, coupled with the prevailing systems, shaped the outcomes. Therefore, the theory and model of structuration help analyze contemporary topics and how human activity is influenced by different societal structures, as well as a person’s inherent will to accomplish the set objectives.


Dillon, M. (2014). Introduction to sociological theory: theorists, concepts, and their applicability to the twenty-first century. John Wiley & Sons.

Segre, S. (2014). Contemporary sociological thinkers and theories. Routledge.

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PsychologyWriting. "Anthony Giddens' Model of Structuration." September 23, 2023.