Social Theory rss

Ontology Etc

Philosophy often operates at such a high level of abstraction it is difficult to see how it can be useful to practicing social scientists. The work of Roy Bhaskar is no different. Renowned for its difficulty, its technicality, and its… Read More ›

The Politics of Agency

Ever since I was a philosophy student, I’ve been interested in how we conceptualise individuals and groups. The two are connected in my mind because, if groups are composed of individuals, our concept of individuals is going to condition our… Read More ›

Darwin’s Dilemma

• Science is the epitome of human achievement, whereby we distinguish ourselves most clearly from other animals. • Yet, our best science says that our sense of superiority from other animals is false and quite possibly self-deception. • Either we… Read More ›

After Positivism

In this talk where he discusses previous presentations, Professor Daniel Little talks about what should come after positivism for social sciences. He argues that social sciences have suffered heavily from the twin pillars of positivism and naturalism. The question that… Read More ›

The Impact of Social Theory

The Sociological Review has just published a thought-provoking review of Doug Porpora’s Reconstructing Sociology: The Critical Realist Approach. It gives a lucid, though brief, overview of the book’s core arguments: seven myths which afflict American sociology and seven philosophical counter-points. But… Read More ›

On Teaching Theory

This short exchange with Michael Burawoy offers some thought-provoking reflections on teaching social theory. He identifies the major traditions of teaching theory within American sociology, before outlining his own ethnographic approach: The Survey: surveying extracts from a comprehensive range of social theorists, each… Read More ›