The Role of Theory in Social Research

1613 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 7 Pages
The role of theory in social research is that without a sociological theory, nothing can be sociological. Facts disconnected from theory are just facts. Theory makes the facts speak; the facts don’t and cannot speak for themselves. Without a connection to other facts, we cannot assess anything. With theory, you can relate facts to each other. Theory is the body of interrelated logical concepts or universals that connect to empirical facts and phenomena. Empirical research is okay as long as there is theory involved with it. Theory helps us select which facts are important and which are not. Theory also allows us to organize the facts. Theory helps us create a story and tell which the dependent is and which the independent variable is. …show more content…
Other reasons as to why theory is important for social research are already listed above, but to conclude this answer it would be fair to note that theories and facts are both really important for social research, however they cannot exist alone, especially facts without theories, because they would simply look like Charlie Chaplin sins his mustache; it would not look right, at all.
Question Three
The two theorists that will be discussed in this question are Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons. Durkheim is known to be one of the first classical theorists, and a very important one. Parsons is known to be the last classical theorist and the first contemporary theorist. Both of these theorists are functionalists, and their ideas are similar to each other, however not exactly the same. Parsons have developed his ideas on the basis that Durkheim wasn't able to finish them, and he was very much influenced by Weber; he even edited Weber’s work. Durkheim focused on social facts, collective consciousness, and social stability while Parsons focused on social order, value consensus, and social equilibrium. For example, Durkheim had developed division of labor on the basis of trying to see what keeps society together, and that’s how he came up with division of labor, and he was concerned with the functions of the division of labor. Functionalism treats society as a whole and tries to