Sociological Theory: Positivistic, Interpretative, and Critical

1980 Words Oct 15th, 1999 8 Pages
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,
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The interpretivist would survey and examine why the children were baptized and what the baptism meant to the participants.The final construct for the interpretivist would be thatthe baptism signified a religious cleansing and a new beginning and acted as a right of passage for the young children.

Both conclusions are correct, the results are vastly different.The positivist looks at the exterior of society, while the interpretivist looks at the interior.It is the difference between examining the electrical synapses in the brain and knowing what someone is thinking.Both inquiries have there value, but in the end, they are looking at different aspects of the same subject.The positivist examines the exterior, while the interpretivist examines the interior.

Critics of interpretivism and positivists attack interpretive theory for being subjective and therfore being unreliable.This is not an accurate critique. Just as there can be poor positivistic theories, there can be poor

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