middle-range theory

middle-range theory
Advocated by the distinguished American sociologist Robert Merton in Social Theory and Social Structure (1957) to bridge the gap between the limited hypotheses of empiricist studies and grand abstract theory of the sort produced by Talcott Parsons . He describes middle-range theories as ‘theories that lie between the minor but necessary working hypotheses that evolve in abundance in day to day research and the all-inclusive systematic efforts to develop unified theory that will explain all the observed uniformities of social behaviour, organization and social change’. Merton consistently argued for, and demonstrated the necessity of, this sort of work in a long series of convincing sociological essays in such areas as structural-functional theory and the sociologies of science, deviance, organizations and occupations. Many of the concepts developed in these theories have become part of the basic sociological lexicon (and are therefore given separate entries in this dictionary): retreatism, ritualism, manifest and latent functions, opportunity structure, paradigm, reference group, role-sets, self-fulfilling prophecy, and unintended consequences. The idea of middle-range theory has directly and indirectly been an important influence on the way many sociologists see their work. The full range of the discussion stimulated by Merton's work is most evident in the excellent collection of commentaries edited by, Robert K. Merton: Consensus and Controversy (1990).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Middle range theory — can refer to theories in: Middle range theory (archaeology) describes how people use objects and structures and the human behaviors associated with this use; it is based on the more known Middle range theory (sociology) as discussed by Robert K.… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle range theory (sociology) — Sociology …   Wikipedia

  • Middle-range theory (Archaeology) — The middle range theory in archaeology describes how people use objects and structures and the human behaviors associated with this use. Middle range theory links archaeological data with the relevant aspects of human behavior or natural… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle-range theory (archaeology) — The middle range theory in archaeology links archaeological data describing how people use objects with the human behaviors or natural processes associated with this use. Middle range research attempts to provide archaeology with the tools needed …   Wikipedia

  • theories of the middle range — See middle range theory …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Middle class — Sociology …   Wikipedia

  • Systems theory in archaeology — is the application of systems theory and systems thinking in archaeology. It originated with the work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1950s, and is introduced in archaeology in the 1960s with the work of Sally R. Binford Lewis Binford s New… …   Wikipedia

  • Normalization process theory — is a sociological theory of the implementation, embedding, and integration of new technologies and organizational innovations developed by Carl R. May, Tracey Finch, and others.[1][2][3] The theory is a contribution to the field of science and… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle power — is a term used in the field of international relations to describe states that are not superpowers or great powers, but still have large or moderate influence and international recognition.[citation needed] There is no single specific definition… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle Eastern studies — (sometimes referred to as Near Eastern studies or Arab studies) is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”