Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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General sociological orientation

core definition

A general sociological orientation is a broad perspective that guides an explanation, interpretation or understanding of the social world.

explanatory context

General sociological orientations lie between general theories and epistemological perspectives and are akin to 'research traditions'.


For example, Soares (1968) described Marxism as a general social orientation, Hinckle (1967) described Cooley's melding of social action and structural functionalism in the same terms and Weiningera and Lareau (2003) described Bourdieu's sociological perspective as a general sociological orientation.


see Researching the Real World Section 1.5.2

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also



Researching the Real World Section 1.5.2


Soares, G.A.D., 1968, 'Marxism as a general sociological orienataion', British Journal of Sociology, 19(4) pp. 365ff.

Hinkle, R,C., 1967, 'Charles Horton Cooley's general sociological orientation', Sociological Quarterly 8(1), pp 5–20.

Weiningera, E.B. and Lareau, A., 2003, 'Translating Bourdieu into the American context: the question of social class and family-school relations', Poetics 31, pp. 375–402.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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