Social theory is something you can’t get away from

From an interview with Margaret Archer in disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory:

Well, social theory is something you can’t get away from. It’s indispensible. People in the street are social theorists. They don’t know it, they wouldn’t appropriate the label, but what they’re doing is social theorizing. They do that every time they say things like, “Well, there wouldn’t be any benefits from doing that, would there?” Or, “That’s just how you would expect the bankers to behave, isn’t it?” It’s social theorizing. It may be crude. Quite often you can find that sociologists, really well established names, are saying very much the same thing. It’s just that their language is more technical or sometimes it’s just more
pretentious than lay or folk social theorizing. We should respect lay social theory, not just because we are respecting the people who voice it, which we should do, but because this is what prompts their action. So, whether they’re right or wrong in what they say, that’s why, that’s their motive for acting. It’s usually a lot more interesting than the alternative. Namely, because we can’t get away from talking about human motives, we, the investigators, impose our own interpretations on them; our beliefs about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and these can be wildly wrong

Categories: Outflanking Platitudes

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *