Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, and Critical

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Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, and Critical

Comment on the three types of sociological theories, explain and argue, based on your library or Internet research, which type of theory is the most appropriate theory for sociology to adopt.

The three general types of sociological theory are positivistic, interpretive and critical theory.In determining which theory is the most appropriate for sociology to adopt,a basic understanding of each theory's strengths and weaknesses is necessary.In defining each of these theories, it is important to determine the ontological basis orthe theory's basis for determining what is knowable; the epistemological basis or the theory's relationship between the knower and the knowable; and, finally, the methodological basis or the theory's method for gathering data and obtaining knowledge.



The positivistic theory is based on an ontology ofbeing a realist.The realistic slant of positivism is also known as determinism.The positivist knows that a reality is "out there" to be defined and categorized.The hard sciences from the time of Newton and Decartes have traditionally relied on the positivistic approach.The positivist hopes to be able to approximate "reality" in a detailed generalization or theory on how reality operates.The theories of a positivist generallytake the form of cause and effect laws describing the outside reality.Robert Merton defined these theorems as "clear verifiable statements of the relationships between specified variables."


Positivism relies onan objective epistemology.The observer remains distant and does not interact with the observation or experiment.Values and any other factors that might lead to bias are to be carefully removed so that the cold, monological gaze of science can be used to analyze the data.The positivist is an objectivist.


The methodology of positivism is experimental and manipulative. The...
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