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POLITICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES: THEORIES OF THE STATE AND POWER
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1. Three Founding Sociological Theories - YouTube

According to structuralist theory, a text or utterance has a "meaning", but it's meaning is determined not by the psychological state or "intention" of the speaker, but by the deep-structure of the language system in which it occurs. In this way, the subject (individual or "author") is effectively killed off and replaced by language itself as an autonomous system of rules. Thus, structuralism has been characterized as antihumanistic in it's claim that meaning is not identical with the inner psychological experience of the speaker. It removes the human subject from its central position in the production of meaning much as Copernicus removed (de-centered) the Earth from its position at the center of the solar system. And since language pre-exists us, it is not we who speak, as Heidegger was to say, but "language speaks us".

Marxist Sociology. Marx’s contributions. Marx’s influence in the nineteenth century. Divergence of Marxism and sociology. Marxist influence since the 1930s
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The social action theory was founded by Max Weber

In adopting this method, Weber was an historical sociologist. Weber considered the study and examination of empirical data necessary and these data must be carefully selected and interpreted. Out of this, a sociologist develops concepts and "generalized uniformities of empirical processes." Sociology is more than description of events and as Ritzer (p. 114) notes

Feb 13, 2016 · Functionalism. Functionalism is a structural theory created by Durkheim, which studies society as a whole by looking at the way it is organised.
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In the view of some, Weber may have "spent his life having a posthumous dialogue with the ghost of Karl Marx." (Cuff, p. 97). This dialogue concerned (i) economic determinism or the extent to which developments are rooted in the material base, and (ii) the extent to which economic factors alone can be considered at the root of social structure. At the same time, the differences between Weber and Marx should not be overstated. Weber's analysis had similar scope to that of Marx, and he came from a similar historical, German tradition of thought, examining many of the same topics as Marx. Many contemporary sociologists think of Weber as complementing Marx, examining issues that Marx thought less important, providing a way of thinking about the individual within a structural approach, and laying out a sociological methodology. Weber's writing had an influence on structural functionalism, critical theory, some of the social interaction approaches, and much contemporary sociological theory, including some Marxist approaches that use ideas from Weber.

31/05/2013 · A brief introduction to the three most classic sociological theories: Conflict Theory, Structural Functionalism, and Symbolic Interactionism.
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Theories and Practices of Development Studies | …

A. Pre-structuralist theory assumes that there is an intimate connection between material objects in the world and the languages that we use to talk about those objects and their interrelations.

Sociology 250 - Notes on Max Weber

The shift from a pre-structuralist to a structuralist theory of language and the implications drawn from it by poststructuralists is represented in the following diagrams:

Social Science History Bibliography

The first thing to notice is that, according to structuralist theory, meaning is not a private experience, as Husserl thought, but the product of a shared system of signification. A text is to be understood as a construct to be analyzed and explained scientifically in terms of the deep-structure of the system itself. For many structuralists, this "deep-structure" is universal and innate.

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C. Poststructuralist theory denies the distinction between signifier and signified. According to the poststructuralist, concepts are nothing more than words. Thus, signifiers are words that refer to other words and never reach out to material objects and their interrelations. To indicate this shift in theory, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida introduces the word "différance" to indicate the relation between signifiers as one of difference and deferral.

Home › Deconstruction › Key Theories of Jacques Derrida

Weber was familiar with, and part of, the major German intellectual debates of his time, first in his parents' household, and then in his own and through his professional, academic contacts. As Ritzer notes (pp. 113-114), Weber was concerned with the debate concerning science and history, and attempted to establish a foundation for sociology. Weber felt that historical sociology should be "concerned with individuality generality." (Ritzer, p. 114). The philosopher who dominated German philosophical thought during Weber's time was Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kant argued that "the methods of the natural sciences give us true knowledge about the external phenomenal world – the world we experience through our senses." (Ashley and Orenstein, p. 268). At the same time, Kant argued that moral philosophy or a system of morality, is also important and "involves reflection on moral axioms that appear to be innate and are understandable without reference to human experience." (Ashley and Orenstein, p. 268). That is, empirical analysis and moral judgment are two separate systems – sociology could not set out moral values, but could discuss the effects of these. While sociology must be concerned with empirical analysis of society and history, the method of sociology would have to be different from that of the natural sciences. Sociological analysis would have to examine social action within a context of social interaction, and would have to be interpretive, not viewing people as object just driven by impersonal forces. Marianne Weber's biography argued that Max Weber believed that the purpose of political and social institutions is the development of autonomous, free personality. These influences can be seen in Weber's approach to methodology, understanding and social action. (Paragraph based on Ashley and Orenstein, pp. 267-271).