Positivism And Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: Peter Halfpenny
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651391
Size: 61.52 MB
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Positivism And Sociology Rle Social Theory from the Author: Peter Halfpenny. Any serious attempt to explain social life has to come to terms with sociology's positivist legacy. It is a heritage on the one hand from the seventeenth-century political arithmeticians and the later moral statisticians who believed that quantification would provide the basis for a dispassionate analysis of social affairs; and on the other hand from the nineteenth-century post-Enlightenment social philosophers who were eager to develop an empirical science of society that would enable them to control social conduct – just as the physical sciences had provided the knowledge to tame nature. Yet every debate about the relation between positivism and sociology is clouded by the diversity of uses of the term 'positivism' – uses that are so varied that some can pronounce positivism dead while others find it still the vital force that dominates sociology. The particular merit of Peter Halfpenny's book is that it makes this diversity of uses its central theme. In order to provide a clear basis from which to assess controversial questions about the contribution of the positivist traditions to sociology, the book reviews twelve different important uses of the term 'positivism' that have emerged at different times since the mid-nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte coined both 'positivism' and 'sociology'. This review is conducted by examining the historical development of the two independent roots of modern sociological positivism – positivist philosophy and statistics – and by analysing logical positivist philosophy, which in many ways defined the course of twentieth century philosophy of the social (as well as the natural) sciences.

Philosophical Foundations Of The Three Sociologies Rle Social Theory

Author: Ted Benton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651421
Size: 60.53 MB
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Philosophical Foundations Of The Three Sociologies Rle Social Theory from the Author: Ted Benton. An extended historical and philosophical argument, this book will be a valuable text for all students of the philosophy of the social sciences. It discusses the serious alternatives to positivist and empiricist accounts of the physical sciences, and poses the debate between naturalism and anti-naturalism in the social sciences in new terms. Recent materialist and realist philosophies of science make possible a defence of naturalism which does not make concessions to positivism and which recognizes the force of several of the anti-positivist arguments from the main anti-naturalist (neo-Kantian) tradition. The author presents a critical evaluation of empiricist and positivist theories of knowledge, and investigates some classic attempts at using them to provide the philosophical foundation for a scientific sociology. He takes the Kantian critique of empiricism as the starting point for the main anti-positivist and anti-naturalist philosophical approaches to the social studies. He goes on to investigate the inadequacy of post-Kantian arguments from Rickert, Weber, Winch and others, both against non-positivist forms of naturalism and as the possible source of a distinctive philosophical foundation for the social studies. The book concludes with a critical investigation of the Marxian tradition and an attempt to establish the possibility of a materialist and realist defence of the project of a natural science of history, which escapes the fundamental flaws of both positivist and neo-Kantian attempts at philosophical foundation.

Approaches To Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652525
Size: 38.87 MB
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Approaches To Sociology Rle Social Theory from the Author: John Rex. These essays, commissioned by John Rex, reflect the state of sociology in Britain today. Leading representatives of the diverse ‘schools’ provide lucid accounts of their own particular approaches to this complex discipline and in doing so demonstrate the techniques described. Topics covered include the empirical study of stratification, social evolution, survey techniques, mathematical sociology, systems theory, phenomenological approaches, Weberian sociology, structuralism, contemporary Marxism, and the development of theory after Talcott Parsons.

The Hermeneutic Imagination Rle Social Theory

Author: Josef Bleicher
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651812
Size: 24.40 MB
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The Hermeneutic Imagination Rle Social Theory from the Author: Josef Bleicher. In his previous book, Contemporary Hermeneutics, Josef Bleicher offered an introduction to the subject, locating it mainly within the philosophy of social science, and looking at the profound impact it is having on a wide range of intellectual pursuits. This book follows on from this and expounds the author's view that the development of the hermeneutic imagination is an indispensable condition for reflexive sociological work and emancipatory social practice. Dr Bleicher examines the various approaches to sociology – empiricist, functionalist, structuralist, interpretive, critical – by reference to a hermeneutic paradigm, and shows how the hermeneutic imagination leads to a redirection in sociology, away from scientistic presuppositions and towards an awareness of the dialogue which links the subject and object in the study of social phenomena. He argues that by allowing the hermeneutic imagination to develop, it is possible to counter the steering of social processes on the basis of technocratic imperatives, and to provide a rational anticipation of a better future.

Social Theory And Political Practice Rle Social Theory

Author: Brian Fay
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652290
Size: 48.14 MB
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Social Theory And Political Practice Rle Social Theory from the Author: Brian Fay. This book examines the question of how our knowledge of social life affects, and ought to affect, our way of living it. In so doing, it critically discusses two epistemological models of social science – the positivist and the interpretive – from the viewpoint of the political theories which, it is argued, are implicit in these models; moreover, it proposes a third model – the critical – which is organised around an explicit account of the relation between social theory and practical life. The book has the special merit of being a good overview of the principal current ideas about the relation between social theory and political practice, as well as an attempt at providing a new and more satisfactory account of this relationship. To accomplish this task, it synthesises work from the analytic philosophy of social science with that of the neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school.

Sociological Theory In Use Rle Social Theory

Author: Kenneth Menzies
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317657187
Size: 47.60 MB
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Sociological Theory In Use Rle Social Theory from the Author: Kenneth Menzies. Central to most sociologists’ self-image is the claim that their theories are based on research. However, using a random sample of 680 articles appearing in major American, British and Canadian journals, Dr Menzies shows that in some areas of sociology the wide gap between theory and research means that much of sociological theory is virtually untested. He explains how theory is embodied in eight particular types of research, critically examines these research theories, and contrasts them with the positions of modern theorists. The sample of journal articles also permits a comparison of British, American and Canadian sociology. By contrasting on how researchers us theories, Dr Menzies is able to reassess several theories. For instance, symbolic interactionist research uses embedded causal claims and stands in a dialectical relationship to other sociological research, while the research version of conflict theory depends on external causes to explain social change. The implications of using statistical techniques like factor analysis and regression are also considered in relation to the form of explanation.

Knowledge And Social Structure Rle Social Theory

Author: Peter Hamilton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317634985
Size: 60.88 MB
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Knowledge And Social Structure Rle Social Theory from the Author: Peter Hamilton. The primary concern of this study is to present, elucidate and analyse the developments which have characterized the sociology of knowledge, and which have set for it the outlines of its major problematics. Peter Hamilton examines the most distinctive approaches to the determinate relationship between knowledge and social structure. He considers the three main ‘pre-paradigms’ of the sociology of knowledge based on the work of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, and looks at the contribution of Scheler, Mannheim and phenomenological studies to this complex field. He explores the intellectual context, particularly that of Enlightenment philosophy, in which the problems involved in producing a sociology of knowledge first came to light. In conclusion, the author suggests an inclusive perspective for approaching the difficulties posed in any attempt to describe and explain relations between knowledge and social structure.

Structure Interaction And Social Theory Rle Social Theory

Author: Derek Layder
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650670
Size: 74.69 MB
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Structure Interaction And Social Theory Rle Social Theory from the Author: Derek Layder. A central problem in contemporary social theory is that of providing an account of social interaction that does justice both to the self-monitoring capacities of the individuals involved and to the society that ‘frames’ the interaction. This book attempts to resolve this problem, arguing for an objectivist or ‘structuralist’ account which does not undervalue the importance of the indexical and negotiated aspects of interaction, and which takes seriously the Marxist-rationalist critique of empiricism and humanism and the associated idea that society should be treated as a supra-individual, preconstituted and constraining object of scientific analysis. First, Dr Layder pinpoints certain of the strengths and weaknesses of various schools of thought: social psychology (scrutinized in both its sociological and psychological forms), sociology, the Marxist-rationalist approach. Whilst rejecting the mechanistic or naively deterministic theories which are often associated with an objectivist stance, he argues that the productive activities of situated actors must be understood as existing in an articulated relationship with, and within, sets of preconstituted contextual constraints. This thesis is illustrated conceptually by the development of a framework which distinguishes two types and levels of social structure, with different modes of production and reproduction, and empirically by an analysis of aspects of interaction in the occupation of acting.

Discovering Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651960
Size: 68.38 MB
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Discovering Sociology Rle Social Theory from the Author: John Rex. Professor John Rex was one of Britain’s most eminent sociologists, and a teacher of a whole generation of sociology students. In this book he presents a stimulating introduction to the major issues of sociological theory and gives an account of the perspective which has informed his thinking and writing. He deals with the objectives of sociological investigation, the methods it uses and how in these respects it resembles or differs from natural science and history. He goes on to discuss the work of Weber, Durkheim, Marx, Engels, Mills and other important theorists, and concludes with a convincing demonstration of the continuing relevance of the Weberian tradition to the study of sociology.

Sociological Theory In Transition Rle Social Theory

Author: Mark L. Wardell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651006
Size: 71.80 MB
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Sociological Theory In Transition Rle Social Theory from the Author: Mark L. Wardell. Current sociological theories appear to have lost their general persuasiveness in part because, unlike the theories of the ‘classical era’, they fail to maintain an integrated stance toward society, and the practical role that sociology plays in society. The authors explore various facets of this failure and possibilities for reconstructing sociological theories as integrated wholes capable of conveying a moral and political immediacy. They discuss the evolution of several concepts (for example, the social, structure, and self) and address the significant disputes (for example, structuralism versus humanism, and individual versus society) that have dominated twentieth-century sociological thought. Their ideas and analyses are directed towards an audience of students and theorists who are coming to terms with the project of sociological theory, and its relationship with moral discourses and political practice. The authors of these essays are sociological theorists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They are all established, but not ‘establishment’ authors. The book contains no orthodoxies, and no answers. However, the essays do contribute to identifying the range of issues that will constitute the agenda for the next generation of sociological theorists.