Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, and Critical

1980 Words Sep 28th, 1999 8 Pages
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,
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2.Epistemology.

Critical theory is value oriented.Therefore, the critical theorist is subjective to the extent that the inquiries are governed and conducted in the context ofthe values expounded by the theorist.

3.Methodology.

Critical theory has a transformative methodology.The answers provided should be on how we should live.The status quo is critiqued and attacked.Actions are criticized because of the result they will bring.The transformation is brought about by making societal participants more aware of the language and the world in which they live.By rallying members of society around a common, clear and
"true" point, societal injustice and exploitation can be eliminated.

POSITIVISM VERSUS INTERPRETIVISM

The positivistic approach is excellent for examining exterior data that can essentially be utilized in an objective fashion.The positivist is an excellent philosophy for viewing societal trends andchanges.The monological or scientific gazeis limited in its perceptions and can best be used for determining when and to what extent groups in the society interact.

The interpretivist, on the other hand, wants to know why things are happening in a particular society.The subjective approach allows communication with the cultural background of a society and an understanding of why things operate.

An illustration of how the two approaches differ can be

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