Metatheorizing in sociology: review of discourse and a forecast

Metatheorizing in sociology: review of discourse and a forecast

Romanovskiy N.V.

Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Prof., Russian State University for Humanities, Deputy Head Editor “Sotsiologitcheskie Issledovaniya” journal, Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of Federal Сenter for Applied and Theoretical research, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article:

Rubric: Anniversary

For citation:

Romanovskiy N.V. Metatheorizing in sociology: review of discourse and a forecast. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 2. P. 127-135


The paper discusses origins and present­day state of metatheorzing (MT). Mainstream sociology is shown to be the place of origin of respective debates with G. Ritzer initiating respective current discourse. Though earlier views feature instructive views of their own, Ritzer’s ideas of early 1990th remain today departing point for discutants; they are summarized in the opening paragraphs of the paper with ensuing author’s additions to reflect shifts in sociological MT of more than two recent decades. Russian сontemporary debate on the topic is also highligthed. The overall discourse of MT is seen as strides towards a new paradigm (in T. Kuhn terms of scientific revolution) in social science. Arguably, this fact is reflected in certain features of today’s sociology such as historical and cultural turns, big data revolution, post­colonial views advances, etc. Most probably, the decisive shift in MT shall be basically infuenced by newly born all­encompassing global social realities. Some interpretations of the latters, as reflected in contemporary sociological discourse, are mеntioned in this context stressing the role of new humanism, of a turn in social sciences to human beings as segments of global community and as becoming subjects of history.

Мета­theorizing; G. Ritzer; post­Soviet sociology; paradigmatic shift; T. Kuhn; scientific revolution; new humanism


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