Reconstructing Sociology

The Critical Realist Approach

Author: Douglas V. Porpora

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107107377

Category: Social Science

Page: 210

View: 7430

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A general critique of sociology, particularly sociology in the United States, from a critical realist perspective.
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Critical Realism, History, and Philosophy in the Social Sciences

Author: Timothy Rutzou,George Steinmetz

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing

ISBN: 1787566048

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 9724

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This volume examines the relationship between history, philosophy, and social science, and contributors explore questions concerning realism, ontology, causation, explanation, and values in order to address the question “what does a post-positivist social science look like?”
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What's Critical About Critical Realism?

Essays in Reconstructive Social Theory

Author: Frédéric Vandenberghe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135104867

Category: Social Science

Page: 338

View: 2373

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What's Critical About Critical Realism?: Essays in Reconstructive Social Theory draws together 4 major articles that are situated at the intersection of philosophy and sociology. Preceded by a general presentation of Bhaskar ́s work, critical realism is used to reconstruct the generative structuralism of Pierre Bourdieu, warn about the dangers of biocapitalism, theorize about social movements and explore the hermeneutics of internal conversations. Together, the essays form a logical sequence that starts with a search for a solid conception of social structure through a realist critique of Bourdieu ́s rationalist epistemology, proceeds to an ideology critique of posthumanism through an investigation of Actor-Network Theory, extends critical realism to social movements through an investigation of the constitution of collective subjectivities and engages in a sustained dialogue with Margaret Archer through an attempt to reconnect hermeneutics and pragmatism to critical realism. The result is an ongoing dialogue between British critical realism, French historical epistemology, German critical theory and American pragmatism. As suits a collection of essays in social theory, this book will address a broad audience of sociologists, philosophers, social psychologists and anthropologists who are interested in contemporary social theory at the cutting edge. Academics and advanced students who relate to critical realism and critical theory, epistemology and philosophy of the social sciences, hermeneutics and pragmatism, or anyone else who follows the work of Roy Bhaskar, Pierre Bourdieu, Bruno Latour or Margaret Archer will find a keen interest in some of the theoretical questions the book raises.
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The Economics of Science

A Critical Realist Overview

Author: David Tyfield

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780415498357

Category: Science

Page: 230

View: 7262

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Dramatic and controversial changes in the funding of science over the past two decades, towards its increasing commercialization, have stimulated a huge literature trying to set out an "economics of science". Whether broadly in favour or against these changes, the vast majority of these frameworks employ ahistorical analyses that cannot conceptualise, let alone address, the questions of "why have these changes occurred?" and "why now?" Nor, therefore, can they offer much insight into the crucial question of future trends. Given the growing importance of science and innovation in an age of both a globalizing knowledge-based economy (itself in crisis) and enormous challenges that demand scientific and technological responses, these are significant gaps in our understanding of important contemporary social processes. This book argues that the fundamental underlying problem in all cases is the ontological shallowness of these theories, which can only be remedied by attention to ontological presuppositions. Conversely, a critical realist approach affords the integration of a realist political economy into the analysis of the economics of science that does afford explicit attention to these crucial questions; a 'cultural political economy of research and innovation' (CPERI). Accordingly, the book sets out an introduction to the existing literature on the economics of science together with novel discussion of the field from a critical realist perspective. In arguing thus across levels of abstraction, however, the book also explores how concerted engagement with substantive social enquiry and theoretical debate develops and strengthens critical realism as a philosophical project, rather than simply 'applying' it. Divided into two volumes, in this first volume the book explores the 'top' and 'tail' of the argument, regarding substantive and philosophical aspects. Starting with substantive illustrations, we explore the social challenges associated with the contemporary commercialization of science and the movement towards a knowledge-based bio-economy. Having shown the explanatory benefits of assuming a realist political economy perspective, the book then turns to the task of reconstructing and justifying that theoretical perspective. True to the overall argument regarding attention to ontological presuppositions, this starts with critical realism's critique of mainstream economics but also develops critical realism itself towards what may be called a 'transcendental constructivism'.
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Reconstructing Marxism

Essays on Explanation and the Theory of History

Author: Erik Olin Wright,Andrew Levine,Elliott Sober

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9780860913429

Category: Political Science

Page: 202

View: 9451

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Reconstructing Marxism explores fundamental questions about the structure of Marxist theory and its prospects for the future. The authors maintain that the disintegration of the old theoretical unity of classical Marxism is in part responsible for what is commonly called the "crisis of Marxism." Only a reconstructed Marxism can come to terms with this disintegration. Addressing a range of problems in historical materialism and class analysis, the authors compare historical materialism with Darwinian evolutionary theory, and identify what is distinctively "historical" in Marx's theory of history. Through an evaluation of G.A. Cohen's defense and Anthony Giddens's critique of historical materialism they suggest what a plausible, yet still Marxist. theory of history might be. They analyze the relationship of microanalysis to macro theory and the assignment of causal primacy in explanations, and present a general assessment of the current state of Marxist theory and the prospects for its analytical reconstruction. Distinguished by the clarity of its presentation, the analytical rigour of its argument and its concern with fundamental philosophical and sociological issues, Reconstructing Marxism advances, at this critical juncture in the history of Marxism, a challenging new research programme.
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A Philosophical History of German Sociology

Author: Frédéric Vandenberghe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134027133

Category: Philosophy

Page: 352

View: 6035

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A Philosophical History of German Sociology presents a systematic reconstruction of critical theory, from the founding fathers of sociology (Marx, Simmel, Weber) via Lukács to the Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas). Through an in depth analysis of the theories of alienation, rationalisation and reification, it investigates the metatheoretical presuppositions of a critical theory of the present that not only highlights the reality of domination, but is also able to highlight the possibilities of emancipation. Although not written as a textbook, its clear and cogent introduction to some of the main theories of sociology make this book a valuable resource for undergraduates and postgraduates alike. The following in-depth investigation of theories of alienation and reification offer essential material for any critique of the dehumanizing tendencies of today’s global world. Recently translated into English from the original French for the first time, this text showcases Vandenberghe's mastery of the German, French and English schools of sociology study. The result is an important and challenging text that is essential reading for sociology students of all levels. Frédéric Vandenberghe is a Sociology professor and researcher at Iuperj (Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His writings on a broad range of sociological topics have been published as books and articles around the world.
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Emergentist Marxism

Dialectical Philosophy and Social Theory

Author: Sean Creaven

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136013423

Category: Political Science

Page: 358

View: 7275

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In tackling emergentist Marxism in depth, this well-written volume demonstrates that critical realism and materialist dialectics are indispensable to theorizing the functioning of complex social and physical systems. Author Sean Creaven investigates Marx’s dialectics of being and consciousness, forces and relations of production, base and superstructure, class structure and class conflict, and demonstrates how they allow the social analyst to conceptualize geo-history as embodying a tendential evolutionary directionality, rather than as simply random or indeterminate in terms of its outcomes. For those interested in social and political theory, Marxism and communism and contemporary social theory, this outstanding volume is an in important read and a valuable resource.
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Reconstructing Nature

Alienation, Emancipation and the Division of Labour

Author: Peter Dickens

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134879032

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 4957

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One of the main features of the contemporary environmental crisis is that no one has a clear idea of what is going on. The author uses an extension of Marx's theory of alienation to explain why people find it so difficult to relate their different knowledges of the natural and social world. He argues that nevertheless it is possible to relate these to the abstractions of ecological discourse. Emancipation can come only through embracing science and rationality rather than rejecting them and, in the process, humanity as well as the non-human world will benefit.
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Making Realism Work

Realist Social Theory and Empirical Research

Author: Bob Carter,Caroline New

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134495005

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 2329

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In this innovative book, theorists and researchers from various social science disciplines explore the potential of realist social theory for empirical research. The examples are drawn from a wide range of fields health and medicine, crime, housing, sociolinguistics, development theory and deal with issues such as causality, probability, and reflexivity in social science. Varied and lively contributions relate central methodological issues to detailed accounts of research projects which adopt a realist framework. Making Realism Work provides an accessible discussion of a significant current in contemporary social science and will be of interest to social theorists and social researchers alike.
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