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- the capacity possessed by an account or theory when it refers to itself, e.g. the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of sociology
- (particularly in ETHNOMETHODOLOGY and SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM) the idea that our everyday practical accounts are not only reflexive and self-referring but also socially constitutive of the situations to which they refer. On this view, reflexivity is a capacity possessed by social actors which is decisive in distinguishing human actors from animals.
the property of a binary (two-place, two-term) relation that expresses the fact that the relation holds pairs of objects with identical components—that is, that the relation holds between an object and its “mirror image.” In other words, a relation R is said to be reflexive if for any object x from its domain of definition, xRx is satisfied.
The most important typical examples of reflexive relations are relations of the equality type—such as identity, equivalence, and similarity—(because any object is equal to itself) and the relations ≥ and ≤ of nonstrict order (because no object is less or greater than itself). [22–152–3; updated]