Contemporary Sociological Thought: Themes and Theories by Sean P Hier

By Sean P Hier

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This major functional problem area of the social system may be subdivided along the same lines as in the case of the motivational problem. In the first place there are minimum social conditions necessary for the production, maintenance, and development of cultural systems in general and of particular types of cultural system. It may be presumed that disruption of the communication system of a society is ultimately just as dangerous as disruption of its system of order in the above sense of motivational integration.

2. 3. What are some of the ways in which Robert Merton’s sociological theory differs from TalcoĴ Parsons’s? What are theories of the “middle range,” and how can Merton’s conception of functionalism apply to North American politics today? Using Merton’s approach to sociological theory and research, how can sociologists investigate social problems such as homelessness, racism, or homophobia? SUGGESTED READINGS Camic, Charles. 1992. ” American Journal of Sociology 57: 421–445. The writings of TalcoĴ Parsons are oĞen said to be indebted to Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Marshall on the basis of an intellectual “fit” or fundamental compatibility.

Having one’s concepts set out in sufficiently brief compass to permit their simultaneous inspection is an important aid to selfcorrection of one’s successive interpretations, a result difficult to achieve when one’s concepts are scaĴered and hidden in page aĞer page of discursive exposition. , logically irresponsible) hypotheses. Introduction to Social Theory and Social Structure 31 Third, paradigms advance the cumulation of theoretical interpretation. In this connection, we can regard the paradigm as the foundation upon which the house of interpretations is built.

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