Metatheorizing as a Means to Overcome the Sociological Lag

Metatheorizing as a Means to Overcome the Sociological Lag

Sergeev V.S.

PhD Student, Theory and History of Sociology Chair, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

ID of the Article:

Supported by RSF, project No. 18-18-00132.

For citation:

Sergeev V.S. Metatheorizing as a Means to Overcome the Sociological Lag. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 7. P. 137-142


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 1960–1970s. 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.

meta-theory; multiple paradigms; sociological lag; theory integration; academic consensus; metatheorizing


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Content No 7, 2019