Sociological Theory

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Nexus Social Sciences, Sociology, Sociological Theory, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Social Sciences, Epistemology, Futurology.



John K. Rhoads, Critical Issues in Social Theory

Louis Althusser's distinction between substantive theory (Gen III), with statements that can be proved/disproved empirically, and conceptual framework (Gen II) conceptual tools more or less useful for building substantive theories (ex. is Parsons's theory. (Gen I is raw material).

Lockwood makes distinction between social integration and system integration.



The historiography of Sociological Theory may be divided into four periods: the establishment of the discipline from the late 19th century until World War I, interwar consolidation, explosive growth from 1945 to 1975, and the subsequent period of segmentation.

18th century social thought

19th century sociological positivism

Classical Sociology

Critique of positivism and evolutionism, verstehen sociology

From 1919, World Conflict, Critical School

Frankfurt School - Frankfurt School ; ; - Culture industry, individuals subjugated to the system, focus on art as countering the dehumanising capitalist economy.

Radical Sociology

Economic Marxism

Historical Marxism

Surrealism -subverting, parodying, transgressing dead conventions through unexpected juxtapositions, collages, drawing from erotic. -drawing from anthropologists

Functionalism & Modern Positivism, Modernisation

Passive portrayal of the subject. Functionalism, as e.g. Karl Mannheim tells us, is an attempt at explaining social and historical facts through their function. E.g. the concept of family through the function of procreation and child-rearing.

Structuralism & Post-Structuralism

Decentering of the subject.

Structural Marxism

Interpretive sociology & Anti-positivism

Active subject.

Social Dilemmas

Post-Structuralism & Postmodernism



Attempts at Synthesis

Stock-taking, generalist works on social theory. The problems identified in general theory here are addressed among other places in the research process itself. In e.g. Social Anthropology this includes self-conscious attention to writing strategies in the narratives of social and cultural realities - in [Ethnography]].


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