Chaos and governance in the modern world system. University of Minnesota Press. The poverty of meorealism.
Chapter 03 - Social Theories Making Sense of Abstract Theories Sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline.
They guide researchers in their studies. They also guide practitioners in their intervention strategies. And they will provide you with a basic understanding of how to see the larger social picture in your own personal life. Goggles work because the best scientific components work together to magnify, enlarge, clarify, and expand to our view the thing we are studying.
Theories are sets of inter-related concepts and ideas that have been scientifically tested and combined to magnify, enlarge, clarify, and expand our understanding of people, their behaviors, and their societies. Without theories, science would be a futile exercise in statistics.
In the diagram below you can see the process by which a theory leads sociologist to perform a certain type of study with certain types of questions that can test the assumptions of the theory.
Once the study is administered the findings and generalizations can be considered to see if they support the theory. If they do, similar studies will be performed to repeat and fine-tune the process.
If the findings and generalizations do not support the theory, the sociologist rethinks and revisits the assumptions they made.
They devised a theory on aging that had assumptions built into it. These were simply put, that all elderly people realize the inevitability of death and begin to systematically disengage from their previous youthful roles while at the same time society prepares to disengage from them see Maddox et al.
NY for much more detail. Cumming and Henry tested their theory on a large number of elderly persons. Findings and generalization consistently yielded a "no" in terms of support for this theory. Theories have to be supported by research and they also provide a framework for how specific research should be conducted.
By the way theories can be used to study society—millions of people in a state, country, or even at the world level. When theories are used at this level they are referred to as Macro Theories. Macro theories are theories which best fit the study of massive numbers of people typically Conflict and Functional theories.
When theories are used to study small groups or individuals, say a couple, family, or team, they are referred to as being Micro Theories. Micro Theories are theories which best fit the study of small groups and their members typically Symbolic Interactionism or Social Exchange theories.
In many cases, any of the four main theories can be applied at either the macro or micro levels. There are really two distinct types of theories: These include Conflict, Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Social Exchange Theories; second, Middle-Range Theories are theories derived from specific scientific findings and focuses on the interrelation of two or more concepts applied to a very specific social process or problem.
Merton was a functional theory-based sociologist who taught the value of using smaller more specifically precise theories in trying to explain smaller and more specific social phenomena. Continuity, Activity, Differential Association, and Labeling theories.
The Conflict Theory is a macro theory. A Macro theory is a sociological theory designed to study the larger social, global, and societal level of sociological phenomena.
This theory was founded by a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, and revolutionary He had very little patience for the capitalistic ideals that undergirded these powerful acts of inhumane exploitation of the average person.Karl Popper: Critical Rationalism “Critical Rationalism” is the name Karl Popper () gave to a modest and self-critical rationalism.
Its concepts, terms, typologies and generalizations leading to theories, emerged from the very beginning. Moreover, there are striking similarities between sociology and other social sciences: man as a principal ingredient of their subject matters, applications of some methodological tools like observation, comparative method, casual explanations, testing and modification of hypothesis etc.
This New Science of Societies: Sociology. Sociology is a relatively new discipline in comparison to chemistry, math, biology, philosophy and other disciplines that trace back thousands of years.
Cognitive consistency theories have their origins in the principles of Gestalt psychology, which suggests that people seek to perceive the environment in ways that are simple and coherent (Kohler ).
Cognitive consistency theories have their beginnings in a number of seemingly unrelated research areas (Eagly and Chaiken ).
Joseph Hayim Abraham Uncle of Isaac Hai (Jack) Jacob, Worked for the Egyptian Educational Service from to From to he was Extension Lecturer in Sociology at the University of London. The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism, is a major framework of sociology theory.
This perspective focuses on the symbolic meaning that people develop and rely upon in the process of social interaction.