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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sociological perspectives, theories, or paradigms, are complex theoretical and methodological frameworks used to analyze and explain an object of social study.

Theory is informed by epistemological discussions as to the most reliable and valid methods to use in the conduct of social science. Perspectives also relate to core assumptions regarding the ontological nature of the social world. Theory is thus informed by historical debates over positivism and antipositivism, debates over the primacy of structure and agency, as well as debates relating to other fundamental key concepts in the social sciences and humanities in general (e.g. materialism, idealism, determinism, dialecticism, modernity, globalization, postmodernity, and so on). Certain schools of thought, such as structural functionalism, systems theory, and classical structural Marxism, attempt to emphasise scientific objectivity and value neutrality. Other perspectives, such as feminist theory, queer theory, and variants of neo-Marxism, are motivated by normative critique and a concern for the liberation of individuals from forms of oppression and exploitation.


List of sociological theories


General theories

Also see: Social theory

Some of the major general sociological theories (and their variants) include:


Social movements

Sociologists have developed various theories about social movements [Kendall, 2005]. Chronologically (by approximate date of origin) they include:

Sociology of science and technology

Sociologists have been active in developing theories about the nature of science and technology:

See also


  • 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-XOnline chapter summary
  • Ritzer, George and Douglas Goodman. 2004. Sociological Theory, Sixth Edition. McGraw Hill.

External links


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