What Does Theory Do

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Course Themes. Hypothesis or Theories? Solidarity and DiversitySociety

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Slide 1

What Does Theory Do? Recognizes Sociology as: 1. Movement 2. Field of Enquiry 3. Type of Explanation

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Course Themes Theory or Theories? Solidarity and Diversity Society &/or Person: Structure &/or Action Development of "works of art" Marx Durkheim Weber What is Sociology for?

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What Is Sociology For "Traditional" view: 3 'E's 1. Edification 2. Liberation 3. Mastery

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Enlightenment Tradition Names: Voltaire, Rousseau, Condorcet, Diderot and so on Themes: From To Superstition Reason Tradition Progress Repression Emancipation

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Romantic Tradition Names: Burke, Chateaubriand Defense of Against Tradition Modernity Wisdom Rationality Collectivity Individualism Order Revolution Source: Nisbet, R Tradition and Revolt

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What is Theory? Relationship of hypothesis to reality: 1. Display : portrayal of reality 2. Rearrangements : focussing of reality 3. Legitimization : requesting of reality

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Theory as "Model" 1 Simile: … ..reference to thing or individual with unequivocal correlation with it of what is being talked about, as outline or trimming e.g. "as snuffed out and stone cold" Source: Concise Oxford Dictionary

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Theory as Model 2 Metaphor: Application of name or unmistakable term or expression to a question or activity to which it is not truly relevant, e.g. "a glaring blunder", "something to think about", "tower of quality". Source: Concise Oxford Dictionary

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Metaphors in Sociology Marx: Base/Superstructure ( Architecture ) Durkheim: Organic solidarity ( Biology ) Weber: Iron Cage ( Imprisonment ) "Society is… … " (authenticity) "Consider society if… … ." (portrayal)

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Reality and Representation

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What Makes a Theory 'Decent'? 'Truth': it fits reality 'Pragmatics': it prompts to intriguing inquiries

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