- Sociological theory
Sociological theories are complex
theoreticalframeworks that sociologists use to explain and analyze variously how social action, social processes, and social structures work. Sociological theories are sometimes called " social theories", though the later term generally refers to interdisciplinary theory. In seeking to understand society, sociologistsuse both sociological theory and interdisciplinary social theories to organize social research.
Sociological theories are based on certain basic core assumptions, or basic
metaphysical, epistemologicaland moralpremises, about the nature of the social world. Basic assumptions include positivismand antipositivism, materialismand idealism, determinismand free will(related to the problem of structure and agency), and individualismand collectivism.
Some social theories, such as neo-marxist theory,
feminist theoryand variants of social constructionism, are often motivated by a strong sense of social justiceand concerned with liberationfrom oppressionand exploitation. Other social theories, such as structural functionalismand systems theory, may be motivated by a concern with scientific objectivityand seeming value neutrality (which may entail value commitments, sometimes masked, such as to conformity or acceptance of the status quo in a given society).
Another dimension of basic assumptions is about the nature of socio-historical development and the current state of development of various societies. Distinctions used about contemporary societies in sociological theory include broad historical trends such as
industrialization, urbanization, underdevelopment, and globalizationand stages of development such as modernity, postindustrial, underdevelopment, postmodernity, and the network society.
List of sociological theories
Social theory"Some of the major general sociological theories (and their variants) include:
Conflict theory: focuses on the ability of some groups to dominate others, or resistance to such domination.
Ethnomethodology:examines how people make sense out of social life in the process of living it, as if each was a researcher engaged in enquiry.
Feminist theory: focuses on how male dominance of society has shaped social life.
Functionalism:A major theoretical perspective which focuses on how elements of society need to work together to have a fully functioning whole.
Interpretative sociology: This theoretical perspective, based in the work of Max Weber, proposes that social, economic and historical research can never be fully empiricalor descriptive as one must always approach it with a conceptual apparatus.
Social constructionism: is a sociological theory of knowledge that considers how social phenomena develop in particular social contexts.
* Social phenomenology: The social phenomenology of
Alfred Schützinfluenced the development of the social constructionismand ethnomethodology.
Social positivism: Social Positivists believe that social processes should be studied in terms of cause and effect using 'the' scientific method.
Structural functionalism: also known as a social systems paradigmaddresses what functions various elements of the social system perform in regard to the entire system.
Symbolic interactionism: examines how shared meanings and social patterns are developed in the course of social interactions.
Dramaturgical perspective- a specialized symbolic interactionism paradigm developed by Erving Goffman, seeing life as a performance
Rational choice theory: models social behavior as the interaction of utility maximizing individuals.
Rational choice theory (criminology)
Social disorganisation theory
Social learning theory
Strain theory (sociology)
Sociologists have developed various theories about social movements [Kendall, 2005] . Chronologically (by approximate date of origin) they include:
Collective behavior/ collective actiontheories (1950s)
Relative deprivation theory(1960s)
Resource mobilization/ Political processtheory (1970s)
*Frame analysis theory (1970s)
New social movement theory(1980s)
*New cultural theory (1990s) -- James Jasper, Jeff Goodwin et al.
ociology of science and technology
Sociologists have been active in developing theories about the nature of science and technology:
*"Institutional" sociology of science (
Robert K. Merton) (1960s)
Sociology of scientific knowledge(1970s)
Social construction of technology(1980s) - variant of SSK focusing on technology studies.
List of basic sociology topics
* Adams, Bert N. and R. A. Sydie. 2001. Sociological Theory. Pine Forge Press
* Babbie, Earl R. 2003. The Practice of Social Research, 10th edition. Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Inc., ISBN 0-534-62029-9
Michael Hughes, Carolyn J. Kroehler, James W. Vander Zanden. 'Sociology: The Core', McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-240535-X [http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/007240535x/student_view0/chapter1/chapter_summary.html Online chapter summary]
* Ritzer, George and Douglas Goodman. 2004. Sociological Theory, Sixth Edition. McGraw Hill.
* [http://www.asatheory.org/ American Sociological Association - Theory Section]
* [http://www.ucm.es/info/isa/rc16.htm International Sociological Association: Research Committee on Sociological Theory (RC16)]
* [http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/CURRIC/soc/theory.htm Map of Sociologial Theory]
* [http://www.asanet.org/page.ww?section=Sociological+Theory&name=Homepage Sociological Theory (journal)]
* [http://www.sociosite.net/topics/theory.php Sociological Theory and Perspectives - sociosite]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sociological Theory — is a peer reviewed journal published by Blackwell Publishing for the American Sociological Association since 1983. It covers the full range of sociological theory from ethnomethodology to world systems analysis, from commentaries on the classics… … Wikipedia
Stigma (sociological theory) — In sociological theory, a stigma is an attribute, behavior, or reputation which is socially discrediting in a particular way: it causes an individual to be mentally classified by others in an undesirable, rejected stereotype rather than in an… … Wikipedia
Sociological art — is an artistic movement and approach to aesthetics created by Fred Forest, Hervé Fischer and Jean Paul Thénot in 1974.From 1967 to 1974As of 1967 Fred Forest began a series of actions that would foreground the Sociological Art movement. A decade… … Wikipedia
Sociological perspective — The sociological perspective is a particular way of approaching a phenomenon common in sociology. It involves maintaining objectivity, not by divesting oneself of values, but by critically evaluating and testing ideas, and accepting what may be… … Wikipedia
Theory — The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion.In science a theory is a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena,… … Wikipedia
theory — 01. Einstein s famous [theory] that E = mc2 has been shown to be true by modern physics. 02. I studied practical linguistics to become an ESL teacher, but some other people in my classes were studying [theoretical] linguistics in order to do… … Grammatical examples in English
Sociological criticism — is criticism directed to understanding (or placing) literature in its larger social context; it codifies the literary strategies that are employed to represent social constructs through a sociological methodology. Sociological criticism analyzes… … Wikipedia
Sociological naturalism — is a theory that states that the natural world and social world are roughly identical and governed by similar principles. Sociological naturalism, in sociological texts simply referred to as naturalism, can be traced back to the philosophical… … Wikipedia
Sociological and cultural aspects of autism — Autism cure movement Issues Autism therapies Causes of autism Sociological and cultural aspects … Wikipedia
Sociological classifications of religious movements — The information in this article was originally developed for a sociology textbook on Wikibooks: The Church Sect Typology. Sociologists have proposed various classifications of religious movements. The most widely used classification in the… … Wikipedia