These social topics are studied through complex theoretical and methodological frameworks that address the broad range of concepts like positivism and anti-positivism, social structure, individual agency, materialism, globalization, modernity, post-modernity etc.
The social theories aid back to the ancient Greek civilizations. Social theorizing aided the Greeks in making sense of their lives, and in questioning the value and meaning of things around them. However, in the 20th century, social theories appeared as a distinct discipline and involved critical thinking in order to gain knowledge of social behaviours through posterior methods of discovery rather than apriority methods of tradition.
In order to explain social phenomena, sociologists developed several theories. Sociological theories range from grand theories to middle range and highly specific micro range theories. It is extremely difficult to cover the aspects of these broad range theories, therefore in the later sections of this report; I will broadly give an outline of the dominant sociological theories and critically discuss two sociological theories in detail.
i. Functionalism: functionalism is the oldest and the most dominant approach which has served as a building block in the development of sociology as a distinct decipline. Functionalist movement was most popular from 1940’s-1950 but reached its decline in 1960’s. Overall, this theory talks about two main aspects:
Scientific methods should be applied to understand the “objectivity” of the social world. It says that social sciences can be learned in the same manner as natural sciences. Functionalists view this world as “objective real”. Therefore, they emphasized that scientific methods and statistical techniques can be applied to research social phenomena. However, the research should be value-free. It should not be affected by the values, principles and perceptions of the