Making Sense of Abstract Theories

Making Sense of Abstract Theories - Making Sense of...

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Making Sense of Abstract Theories Sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline. They guide researchers in their studies. They also guide practitioners in their intervention strategies. And they will provide you with a basic understanding of how to see the larger social picture in your own personal life. A Theory is a set of interrelated concepts used to describe, explain, and predict how society and its parts are related to each other. The metaphor I've used for many years to illustrate the usefulness of a theory is what I call the "goggles metaphor." Goggles are a set of inter-related parts that help us see things more clearly. Goggles work because the best scientific components work together to magnify, enlarge, clarify, and expand to our view of the thing we are studying. Theories are sets of inter-related concepts and ideas that have been scientifically tested and combined to magnify, enlarge, clarify, and expand our understanding of people, their behaviors, and their societies. Without theories, science would be a futile exercise in statistics. In the diagram below you can see the process by which a theory leads sociologist to perform a certain type of study with certain types of questions that can test the assumptions of the theory. Once the
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Making Sense of Abstract Theories - Making Sense of...

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