Sociological Theory: Old Problems, New Challenges

Sociological Theory:
Old Problems, New Challenges

Deviatko I.F.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Full Prof., National Research University Higher School of Economics; Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

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Deviatko I.F. Sociological Theory: Old Problems, New Challenges. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 10. P. 3-11


The article provides a brief overview and critical analysis of the difficulties and challenges facing theoretical sociology considered in the context of the current discussion of the “crisis of sociological theory”. Both “internal” and “external” problems and challenges, the latter being related to the social context and internal organization of the social sciences, are considered. In particular, among the “internal” factors of the current crisis in relation to sociology, the author states the relative shortage of robust observable phenomena constraining competing theoretical interpretations, the insufficient attention of sociologists to conceptualization and empirical validation of methods for measuring theoretical constructs, as well as the specific difficulties of causal inference in the sciences that include causal relationships between subjective (mental) variables. Among the “external” factors of the social context, some aspects of the transformation of the role of academic knowledge about society in the era of “knowing capitalism”, as well as political and ideological influences on theoretical discourse are examined.

crisis of sociological theory; internal and external factors; conceptualization and measurement; validity; causal inference; “knowing capitalism”; political-ideological influences


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