Concept of Sociological Theory

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Concept of Sociological Theory



Sociological theories are generalizations based on social facts. Sociological theories are scientific in nature. Early sociologists have tried to propound many theories. Although many scholars consider it a difficult task to create universal theories in sociology, yet the fact cannot be denied that today there are many theories in sociology on the basis of which social events, social behavior and social relations can be accurately explained. Is . Fairchild has defined sociological theory in the ‘Dictionary of Sociology’ in these words – “A generalization about social phenomena that has been sufficiently scientifically established and becomes the basis for a sociological system”. can.


Theory refers to the systematic form of propositions proved by empirical research. It is formed by the relationship found between two or more variables, whose authenticity can be checked. We can also call it a set of interrelated facts. It is a generalization which is obtained after authenticating a large set of facts. It is also commonly believed that theory is a way of answering questions such as ‘why’ and ‘how’ in relation to an event. If theories are about society, social life, social events or any other aspect of society, then they are called sociological theories.

If someone says that he has seen the leaves falling, then it will be said to be a fact. If one says that he has occasionally seen leaves falling, he is merely combining into one large but many unclassified statements regarding a particular event, which form a complex fact. But if one says that all the leaves must fall, it is not a fact but a THERY, because the statement of a person regarding all the leaves is not based on his observation because innumerable leaves are falling. which cannot be observed by a single person. “


Thus, defining facts from a scientific point of view, Gude and Hutt have written that “Fact refers to such an empirical observation which is possible to verify.”

(a) Fact is based on sense perception (Fact is based on Sense Preception) and

(b) Verification of fact is possible (Fact is Verifiable). Defining the theory, the above authors state that “It (theory) refers to the interrelationships inherent in the facts, or it means the presentation of facts in a meaningful order.”




Scholars have mentioned many types of sociological theories. Mostly they are divided into macro theory (based on large scale studies), micro theory (based on small scale studies) and mid-range theory (mixed form of macro and micro theories).


The credit for propounding the middle-boundary theories is given to the famous American sociologist Robert K. Merton. Sociological theories help guide empirical research and find faults in existing knowledge about social reality.




Sociological theory is the interrelated system of facts related to society, social relations and social behavior. In sociological research, facts are collected empirically and then theories are formed by combining many facts related to the same aspect (or subject).


A part of sociology consists of this description of a structure ordered into categories . In which only simple theory-formulation is important. A theory is a valid generalization based on scientific facts that is capable of explaining social reality.




Major scholars have given its definitions as follows



The famous sociologist Sorokin says that there is no effect of principles in sociology, but they are increasing in such a way that the grass grows after rain. In his book, he has told that “the total field of ancient general principles is so numerous, so complex and so illusory that it is not possible to include it in a single book as a whole.” Pareto used this term in a very wide manner. has done. He has called the theory of intellectualization of emotions. On the basis of the nature of theories accepted by George Homans, he concludes that “There are only a few theories in sociology and probably none of the so-called general principles.” This is the view of Ernest Nagel. He is of the view that just as natural sciences have explanatory and predictive theories, there are no social sciences in the same way. The reason for these conflicting views about the impact and spread of sociological theories is that the principle of theory is applied differently.

In the sociological literature, a loose meaning of theory is used. Hypotheses, assumptions, thoughtful guesses, etc. are sometimes called theories. The process of theory is also sometimes taken as theory. On the other hand, Homans and Nagel are Pratish thinkers for whom the basis of the theory is the model created by the logicians by analyzing the most advanced principles of the physical sciences.




According to Abel -….. theories are conceptual schemes constructed to explain laws. The general function of all theories is to explain observed regularities.


According to Campbell – “A useful theory has two properties. It should be such that it can predict the rules and it can explain these rules by some similes which are based on such rules which are explained.” The going rules are more general than that.



Fairchild has defined sociological theory in the ‘Dictionary of Sociology’ in these words – “A generalization about social phenomena that has been sufficiently scientifically established and becomes the basis for a sociological system”. can.


Timashef has stated that the following characteristics are essential for the theory.


(1) Observation, which is the basis of any objective science, collection and classification of facts based on observation.


(2) The generalization which shall be based on the classification and statistical arrangement of the observed facts which may be said to be the law of nature that whenever particular conditions arise, a definite result will arise.


According to Timasheff, “Theory is a set of propositions in which the following conditions must be followed ideally – (1) Propositions must be expressed by precisely defined concepts, (2) They must be in harmony with each other. (3) They should be such that existing generalizations can be derived from them by deductive method, (4) They should be productive, should be a guide for observation and generalizations, so as to increase knowledge.



According to Merton – “What is called sociological theory today includes a general attitude towards data, which requires some kind of thinking. Under this, verifiable propositions between the categorical and the specific variables are not counted. He says that sociological theory is also widely used to explain the different types of actions of members of a group of professional sociologists.


He has included sociological knowledge related to explanatory concepts, rules and principles in general useful in all aspects of society in sociological theory. On the basis of the above definitions, we can say that sociological theory is a generalization based on social facts. It is that intellectual system of facts related to society, social life and behavior and social events, from which the knowledge of their reality is obtained.






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