Description : This book examines the question of how our knowledge of social life affects, and ought to affect, our way of living it. In so doing, it critically discusses two epistemological models of social science – the positivist and the interpretive – from the viewpoint of the political theories which, it is argued, are implicit in these models; moreover, it proposes a third model – the critical – which is organised around an explicit account of the relation between social theory and practical life. The book has the special merit of being a good overview of the principal current ideas about the relation between social theory and political practice, as well as an attempt at providing a new and more satisfactory account of this relationship. To accomplish this task, it synthesises work from the analytic philosophy of social science with that of the neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school.
Description : Understanding how theory informs social work practice is an area that students can often find challenging. This book will help students understand how theory impacts and informs social work practice across a range of contexts and with different service user groups. It starts off by briefly setting the context, introducing students to the importance of social work theory and its development over the years, before moving on to look at different types of theory across 17 tightly structured chapters. These cover a range of psychological theories, sociological theories, ethics and moral philosophies, political theories and ideologies, and organisational theories.
Description : Climate change is widely agreed to be one the greatest challenges facing society today. Mitigating and adapting to it is certain to require new ways of living. Thus far efforts to promote less resource-intensive habits and routines have centred on typically limited understandings of individual agency, choice and change. This book shows how much more the social sciences have to offer. The contributors to Sustainable Practices: Social Theory and Climate Change come from different disciplines - sociology, geography, economics and philosophy - but are alike in taking social theories of practice as a common point of reference. This volume explores questions which arise from this distinctive and fresh approach: how do practices and material elements circulate and intersect? how do complex infrastructures and systems form and break apart? how does the reproduction of social practice sustain related patterns of inequality and injustice? This collection shows how social theories of practice can help us understand what societal transitions towards sustainability might involve, and how they might be achieved. It will be of interest to students and researchers in sociology, environmental studies, geography, philosophy and economics, and to policy makers and advisors working in this field.
Description : This book summarizes and critiques theories of social and cultural reproduction as they relate to sociology of education.
Description : Social Theory and Social Practice is a unique effort at applied social theory. Hans L. Zetterberg believes that social research has now advanced so far that social scientists can give advice without being restricted to new research projects. They can use previously proven theories as the basis for sound practical recommendations. This approach has profound implications in the application of social science to problems in business management, labor strife, government decision-making, in such areas as education, health and human welfare. It remains a pioneering discourse for practitioners of social research and social policy. Zetterberg gives a searching review of the various ways in which social practitioners attempt to use the accumulated knowledge of social science. He proceeds with a compact summary of the knowledge of the academicians of social science, noting that practitioners are often unaware of much useful academic knowledge. The process by which this knowledge is transformed into practical advice is spelled out in detail, and is illustrated with examples from an actual consultation about problems faced by an art museum that wanted to increase its audience. Chapter 1 identifies the problem; chapter 2, "The Knowledge of Social Practitioners," outlines practitioners' reliance on scientific knowledge; chapter 3, "The Knowledge of Social Theorists," discusses sociological terms and sociological law; chapter 4, "The Practical Use of Social Theory through Scholarly Consultants," explores the actual specificity of social theory and its uses, while the concluding chapter examines the uses of consultants, covering some prerequisites for the successful use of applied science. The book rejects the widespread view that in order to put social science to use, we have to popularize its content. Zetterberg's approach is rather to translate a client's problem into a powerful theoretical statement, the solution to which is calculated and then presented to the client as down-to-earth advice. This volume will be of immediate interest to scholars in the field of social theory; to consultants and practitioners who give advice on social problems and policy decisions; and to executives who use advice from social scientists. Hans L. Zetterberg was the founding director of the City University of Stockholm. Earlier he served as a consulting sociologist in New York City and a professor of sociology at Columbia University and then at Ohio State University. He is the author of On Theory and Verification in Sociology, Sexual Life in Sweden, and Before and Beyond the Welfare State. He has been the subject of a festschrift published by Transaction in 1999.
Description : This book presents the first analysis and critique of the idea ofpractice as it has developed in the various theoretical traditionsof the social sciences and the humanities. The concept of apractice, understood broadly as a tacit possession that is 'shared'by and the same for different people, has a fatal difficulty, theauthor argues. This object must in some way be transmitted,'reproduced', in Bourdieu's famous phrase, in different persons.But there is no plausible mechanism by which such a process occurs.The historical uses of the concept, from Durkheim to Kripke'sversion of Wittgenstein, provide examples of the contortions thatthinkers have been forced into by this problem, and show theultimate implausibility of the idea of the interpersonaltransmission of these supposed objects. Without the notion of'sameness' the concept of practice collapses into the concept ofhabit. The conclusion sketches a picture of what happens when we dowithout the notion of a shared practice, and how this bears onsocial theory and philosophy. It explains why social theory cannotget beyond the stage of constructing fuzzy analogies, and why thestandard constructions of the contemporary philosophical problem ofrelativism depend upon this defective notion.