Social Research Glossary

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home

 

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-18, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 24 January, 2018 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2018.

 

A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises
   

_________________________________________________________________

Social theory


core definition

Social theory is a general term to cover a wide range of different propositions about the nature of the social world.


explanatory context

Such propositions vary from simple hypotheses, through theoretical conjectures about specific aspects social phenomena (e.g., labelling theory), and general theses about the nature of social relationships (e.g., symbolic interactionism) to wide-ranging theories about the social world (e.g., functionalsim).

 

There is little agreement, however, about classifying principles for social theory. For example, social theory has been divided into conflict theory and consensus theory. Others divide social theory into three groups to correspond with the traditions stemming from Durkheim, Weber and Marx. Others suggest a distinction based on epistemological categories, such as positive, phenomenological and dialectical.


analytical review

Social Theory Applied (undated) states:

Broadly speaking, social theories are analytical frameworks or paradigms used to examine social phenomena. The term ‘social theory’ encompasses ideas about ‘how societies change and develop, about methods of explaining social behaviour, about power and social structure, gender and ethnicity, modernity and ‘civilisation’, revolutions and utopias’ (Harrington 2005, p. 1)


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

fact

hypothesis
epistemology

Researching the Real World Section 1.5


Sources

Harrington, A. (Ed.), [2002] 2005, Modern Social Theory: An introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press

Social Theory Applied, undated, 'What is social theory?' Available at http://socialtheoryapplied.com/what-is-social-theory/, accessed 1 October 2017.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2018


A NOVEL Who bombed a Birmingham mosque?
Top

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home