Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, And Critical

Comment on the three types of sociological theories, explain and argue, based
on your library or Internet research, which type of theory is the most
appropriate theory for sociology to adopt.
The three general types of sociological theory are positivistic, interpretive
and critical theory.In determining which theory is the most appropriate for
sociology to adopt,a basic understanding of each theory's strengths and
weaknesses is necessary.In defining each of these theories, it is important to
determine the ontological basis orthe theory's basis for determining what is
knowable; the epistemological basis or the theory's relationship between the
knower and the knowable; and, finally, the ...

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or theory on how reality operates.The theories of a positivist
generallytake the form of cause and effect laws describing the outside
reality.Robert Merton defined these theorems as "clear verifiable statements of
the relationships between specified variables."


Positivism relies onan objective epistemology.The observer remains distant and
does not interact with the observation or experiment.Values and any other
factors that might lead to bias are to be carefully removed so that the cold,
monological gaze of science can be used to analyze the data.The positivist is an


The methodology of positivism is experimental and manipulative. The approach is
the same as propounded in most junior high science classes:begin with a
hypothesis on how "reality" works, then gather data and test the data against
the hypothesis.The question propounded initially is tested against empirical
data gathered in the experiment under carefully ...

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made through the naturally symbolic use of language.The meaning of the language
is derived in part by the society from which it arises.Interpretive theory is
tested by referring back to human practice within the society.If the interaction
produces the anticipated result then the theory is corroborated and vice versa.



Criticalrealism is the ontology of critical theory.Critical realism believes
that a reality exists "out there" and is not merely relative.However, reality
can never be fully comprehended or understood.Natural laws still control and
drive realityand to the extent possible should be understood.


Critical theory is value ...

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Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, And Critical. (2006, May 11). Retrieved June 6, 2020, from
"Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, And Critical.", 11 May. 2006. Web. 6 Jun. 2020. <>
"Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, And Critical." May 11, 2006. Accessed June 6, 2020.
"Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, And Critical." May 11, 2006. Accessed June 6, 2020.
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Added: 5/11/2006 05:28:19 PM
Category: Social Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1956
Pages: 8

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