SOC 233 November 30, 2011
Theory and Methods
Theories of knowledge influence methodology, questions we ask, and the process of
Theory guides what counts as valid knowledge.
Q – Why is theory important in sociology?
Guides the research design.
Helps us to target exactly what we are studying and how we are going to study it.
Tendency to split theory and practice.
Theories are not always seen as useful.
Grand theories have come disconnected from practice.
Gap between theory and methods.
Mills’ criticism over split between ‘grand theorists’ or ‘abstracted empiricists.’
Argues - Relevance of classical thinkers (e.g., Durkheim, Weber and Marx).
Restructuring needs to take place to use con