Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Sociological Theory Positivistic Interpretative And Critical Essay

Sociological Theory Positivistic Interpretative And Critical Essay

Sociological Theory: Positivist, Interpretative, And Critical Essay, Research Paper

Sociological Theory: Positivist, Interpretative, and Critical

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Remark 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 follow.

The three general types of sociological theory are positive, interpretative

and critical theory.In finding which theory is the most appropriate for

sociology to follow, a basic apprehension of each theory & # 8217 ; s strengths and

failings is necessary.In specifying each of these theories, it is of import to

find the ontological footing orthe theory & # 8217 ; s footing for finding what is

cognizable ; the epistemic footing or the theory & # 8217 ; s relationship between the

apprehender and the cognizable ; and, eventually, the methodological footing or the theory & # 8217 ; s

method for garnering informations and obtaining cognition.



The positive theory is based on an ontology ofbeing a realist.The realistic

angle of positivism is besides known as determinism.The rationalist knows that a

world is & # 8220 ; out there & # 8221 ; to be defined and categorized.The difficult scientific disciplines from the

clip of Newton and Decartes have traditionally relied on the positive

approach.The rationalist hopes to be able to come close & # 8220 ; world & # 8221 ; in a elaborate

generalisation or theory on how world operates.The theories of a rationalist

generallytake the signifier of cause and consequence Torahs depicting the exterior

reality.Robert Merton defined these theorems as & # 8220 ; clear verifiable statements of

the relationships between specified variables. & # 8221 ;


Positivism relies onan nonsubjective epistemology.The perceiver remains distant and

does non interact with the observation or experiment.Values and any other

factors that might take to prejudices are to be carefully removed so that the cold,

monological regard of scientific discipline can be used to analyse the data.The rationalist is an



The methodological analysis of positivism is experimental and manipulative. The attack is

the same as propounded in most junior high scientific discipline categories: Begin with a

hypothesis on how & # 8220 ; world & # 8221 ; plants, so garner informations and prove the informations against

the hypothesis.The inquiry propounded ab initio is tested against empirical

informations gathered in the experiment under carefully controlled conditions.



The interpretivist ontology is relativism.The belief, unlike the rationalist, is

that cognition is comparative to the observor.Reality is non something that exists

outside the observor, but instead is determined by the experiences, societal

background and other factors of the observor.Because of this position sociological

jurisprudence is non a changeless, but a relationship between altering variables.


The epistemology of interpretivism is the subjective.The enquirer in

interpretisim becomes portion of an interaction or communicating with the topic

of the inquiry.The findings are the consequence of the interaction between the

enquirer and the topic. Reality becomes a societal building.


The methodological analysis ofinterpretivism can outdo be described as hermenutic or

dialectic.Hermenutics is the survey of how to do interpretative inquiry.Dialectic

is brooding of the duologue imagined in the subjective attack and the demand

to prove interpretative theory against human experience. Max Weber described the

methodological analysis as & # 8220 ; a scientific discipline which aims at the interpretive apprehension of

societal behavior and therefore at the account of its causes, its class, and its

effects. & # 8221 ;

Through hermenutics, the natural information consists of description.The description is

made through the of course symbolic usage of language.The significance of the linguistic communication

is derived in portion by the society from which it arises.Interpretive theory is

tested by mentioning back to human pattern within the society.If the interaction

produces the awaited consequence so the theory is corroborated and frailty versa.



Criticalrealism is the ontology of critical theory.Critical pragmatism believes

that a world exists & # 8220 ; out there & # 8221 ; and is non simply relative.However, world

can ne’er be to the full comprehended or understood.Natural Torahs still control and

thrust realityand to the extent possible should be understood.


Critical theory is value oriented.Therefore, the critical theoretician is subjective

to the extent that the enquiries are governed and conducted in the context ofthe

values expounded by the theoretician.


Critical theory has a transformative methodology.The replies provided should be

on how we should live.The position quo is critiqued and attacked.Actions are

criticized because of the consequence they will bring.The transmutation is brought

about by doing social participants more cognizant of the linguistic communication and the universe

in which they live.By beat uping members of society around a common, clear and

& # 8220 ; true & # 8221 ; point, social unfairness and development can be eliminated.


The positive attack is first-class for analyzing exterior informations that can

basically be utilized in an nonsubjective fashion.The rationalist is an first-class

doctrine for sing social tendencies andchanges.The monological or scientific

gazeis limited in its perceptual experiences and can outdo be used for finding when and

to what extent groups in the society interact.

The interpretivist, on the other manus, wants to cognize why things are go oning in

a peculiar society.The subjective attack allows communicating with the

cultural background of a society and an apprehension of why things operate.

An illustration of how the two attacks differ can be seen by analyzing

something like the local Mormon baptism rite for 8 twelvemonth old children.The

rationalist would state per centums of kids who participated in comparing to

the clip the parents spent in church.The hypothesis may get down that a higher

per centum ofchildren would take part in the ritual if their parents were more

active in the religion.Data would be gathered and tested against the

hypothesis.The decision would be that the information confirmed the hypothesis and so

the decision could be reached that the more active the parents, the more

probably that the kid would take part in the rite.

The interpretivist would study and analyze why the kids were baptized and

what the baptism meant to the participants.The concluding concept for the

interpretivist would be thatthe baptism signified a spiritual cleaning and a

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new beginning and acted as a right of transition for the immature kids.

Both decisions are right, the consequences are immensely different.The rationalist

expressions at the outside of society, while the interpretivist expressions at the

interior.It is the difference between analyzing the electrical synapses in the

encephalon and cognizing what person is thinking.Both enquiries have there value, but

in the terminal, they are looking at different facets of the same subject.The

rationalist examines the exterior, while the interpretivist examines the inside.

Critics of interpretivism and rationalists attack interpretative theory for being

subjective and therfore being unreliable.This is non an accurate review. Just

as there can be hapless positive theories, there can be hapless interpretative

theories. Likewise, there can be good positive and interpretative theories.

An analogy to literary review is the best illustration.Literary review is

ever interpretive.A positive review ofHamlet would amount to nil

more than a catalog of the figure of times each word is used, the sum of ink

and the figure of pages in the story.It would state us nil about the power

and strength of the drama. Interpretative attacks of Hamlet can be either good

or bad. An reading that it is a drama about & # 8220 ; being happy & # 8221 ; would be a bad

reading, while a review on retaliation would be more accurate.The common

experience of people who have seen or read the drama helps find the quality

of an interpretation.While it is subjective, a sensible finding can be

made as to its value.

Positivism besides has some built-in troubles in maintaing the objectivist position

when making sociological research.Unlike physical scientific discipline which can mensurate

equations like Force peers Mass times Acceleration, human establishments are

replete with human subjectivity.Positivistic scientific discipline is a tool which merely works

for external scrutinies. Biesta and Miedema describe the job in this manner:

The point here is, that the scientific survey of human subjectiveness

has purposes that differ radically from the purposes of physical scientific discipline.

Physical scientific discipline purposes at control of a ( human ) topic over a ( non-

homo ) object.The relationship between the two can be characterized

as an external relationship, foremost because the object is controlled

by the topic, and secondly becasue the knoweldge acquired by the

topic in order to explicate the behavings of the object does non

influence the behavings of the object.

While effectual for the external analysis, positivism is missing in explicating

societal behaviour.

Probably, the biggest job in using positivism in a sociological scene

is the trouble with language.Language, by its really nature, defies

set uping empirical truth. Positivism relies on empirical facts derived from

observation, yet & # 8220 ; [ t ] here is no absolute manner to insulate the analytic, necessary

truths from the simply empirical. & # 8221 ;

Because of the built-in jobs positivism has been modified in the

postpositivism movement.The ontology is that of the critical realist.The

objectiveness is modified to acknowledge that it can merely be approximated. The

methodological analysis is a modified experimental which tries to carry on the research in

more natural scenes with more qualitative components.This postpositivism

remains an ideal methodological analysis for analyzing external constituents of the society.


The nonsubjective demands of positivism are straight counter to subjective

critical theory.Critical theory attacks sociology as a agency to ease

social change.A rationalist would instead detect from behind a thick glass and

base removed from the observation.

The declared intent of critical theory is to transform society into a better

world. Positivism simply wants to specify world, non redefine.Positivism will

be reductionsitic, while critical theory will be given to be holistic.The two

theories could non be further apart. The ends and aims are

antithetical.Balaban summarizes the struggle as follows:

Positivism and Critical Theory offer us a positive history of a

fetishistic society. The first accepts it ( evaluates it positively ) ;

the 2nd culls it ( evaluates it negatively ) .Positivism congratulationss

society, Critical Theory blames society.Meanwhile the human scientific disciplines

expect a true critical account of society.

Similarly, interpretative theory and critical theory differ.Interpretive theory is

looking at the interior to understand why.Critical theory is seeking to alter the

society.The difference is between seeking to understand and seeking to

change.Thomas R. Schwandt described the difference betweeen the two theories as


If constructivism [ interpretivism ] can be characterized by its

concern with a hermeneutic consciousness & # 8212 ; capturing the lived

experiences of participants & # 8212 ; so critical theory can by

characterized by its critical consciousness & # 8212 ; consistently

look intoing the mode in which that lived experience may be

distorted by false consciousness and political orientation. . . . If the

constructivist [ interpretivist ] methodological analysiss are preoccupied

with the Restoration of the significance of human experience, so

critical scientific discipline methodological analysiss are preoccupied with decrease

of semblances in the human experience.


All three methodological attacks involve precautions to modulate objectiveness.

This is non the same as objectivism.Each has its ain & # 8220 ; norms for continuing with

a peculiar signifier of enquiry in a rational manner. & # 8221 ; However, because of the

orientation of each theory, the terminal consequences will change.

Based upon these difference, critical theory does non look to be a theory that

should be adopted by sociologists.It belongs more in the kingdom of political relations and

legislation.Critical theory in that context could take advantage of scientific

enquiry by both positive and interpretative sociologists to do

findings about societal change.If so critical theoretician are to be

involved in sociological survey, full revelation of biass and aims

would be needed for any enquiry to be good and trusty.

Postpositivism remains the best attack for detecting the outsides of

society.Coupled with the interpretivist & # 8217 ; s position of the interior civilization, the two

theories working manus in manus would be most good for the sociologist in

analyzing society.Utilizing a double attack would be the most comprehensive and

give the scientific enquiry both deepness and span in measuring our societies and

making a functional organic structure of sociological research.