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 or the
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. A. POSITIVISTIC 1.
Ontology. The positivistic theory is based on an ontology of being
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 generally take 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." 2. Epistemology. Positivism relies on an
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. 3. Methodology. The methodology
of positivism is experimental and manipulative. The approach is the
same as propounded...