ss4 - There is a distinction between grand theory and the...

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There is a distinction between grand theory and the less ambitious pursuit of ‘theories of the middle range’. Such theories combine general applicability with the criterion of testability, one example being the theory of relative deprivation. The study of the Protestant Ethic is an example of good theory because it is counter- intuitive, it solves a puzzle, it can be applied beyond its immediate context and it acts as a stimulus to further research. Four dilemmas can be identified in theoretical thinking within twenty-first-century sociology. These are: action versus structure, consensus versus conflict, the problem of gender and the shaping of modern social development. Durkheim believed that social structure is external to the individual in the same way as are the walls of a room. While this is a widely accepted view, its critics argue that society is nothing but a composite of many individual actions. The second controversy is consensus versus conflict. Durkheim, and most
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Sociology taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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