Metatheorizing as a Means to Overcome the Lag

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Saint-Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, Saint-Petersburg
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 7

The practice of metatheorizing in sociology is discussed from the point of view of its focus on solving the problem of sociological lag – a delay in the rate of development of a theory in relation to the social development. The response of sociologists to changes in social reality, as a rule, is belated due to traditional theoretical algorithm: a general theory is created via description and explanation of a specific historical event. Thus, when such an event or phenomenon is over or transformed, the general theory built on it, faces serious limitations in description and explanation of social reality generating a loss of academic consensus over the subject area of sociology. Current situation in theoretical sociology, growing disintegration of sociological knowledge, is designated by the author a consequence of the crisis in 1960s-70s. Author emphasizes the role of metatheorizing as a practice aimed at analyzing theoretical foundations and developing main vectors for the efforts of scientists to overcome consequences of the crisis, and also demonstrates prospects for theoretical sociology.

Keywordsmeta-theory, multiple paradigms, sociological lag, theory integration, academic consensus, metatheorizing
AcknowledgmentSupported by RSF, project № 18-18-00132.
Publication date16.07.2019
Number of characters15947
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