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Terms in this set (199)

lacks critical features required of a true scientific theory
-7 ways to distinguish ideologies from theories
1. Certainty of answers: ideologies offer absolute truth and certain answers
-theories need people who have a high tolerance for ambiguity
2. Type of knowledge system differs: ideologies offer a closed system of knowledge that changes little
-theories on the other hand are constantly being modified
3. Type of assumptions differ: both ideologies and social scientific theories contain assumptions
-assumptions in ideologies are fixed/unquestioned- usually come from 3 sources: religious belief, value based position, point of view of particular social position
-social scientific theories: originate in open debates and discussions
-relational position: social researchers come from diverse areas of society and self consciously reflect on their unique social position
4. Use of normative statements differ: ideologies contain many normative assumptions, states and ideas
-normative statement is one that contains "what ought to be"
-An ideology has a "what should be"
-in social theory normative moral positions are detached or separated from the descriptive explanations vs. in ideologies normative positions are integral to descriptive statements
5. Use or empirical evidence differs
-supporters of ideology will selectively present and interpret evidence in a way that protects ideological beliefs
-social theories are open systems of belief that welcome all evidence
6. Demand for logical consistency differs
-ideologies often contain logical contradictions- circular reasoning
-social scientists insist that theories by logically consistent
7. Transparency differs
• Causal explanation one or more factors may cause a response in other factors (says B happens because A causes B)

• Structural explanation locates a social process, event, or factor within a larger structure- explains social life by noting how one part fits within the larger structure (says B happens because B is positioned inside a larger structure that either blocks off or provides B openings to other areas in the structure)

• Three major types of theories that use structural explanation are sequential theories, network theories, and functional theories
1. Sequential theories: emphasize the order or sequence by which events occur; identifies the necessary earlier steps and possible subsequent steps in an unfolding pattern of development across time; explain the speed of movement along the steps, stagnations, and key turning points; identify essential vs. optional steps

2. Network theory explains social relations in terms of placement in a network; relational positions within a network or its size and shape, type and existence of connections among positions, overlap or density of connections
-may explain by referring to a pattern, a set of syntax rules, or structures
-cohesion: meant that people shared information, cooperated, and accomplished tasks faster and with fewer difficulties compared to people in villages that have sparse networks

3. Functional theory uses the idea of a system with a set of mutually interdependent relations; various parts of the system depend on other parts and in combination all parts function together as a whole; success or failure of one part has ramifications for other parts and the whole system; says that society moves through developmental stages from traditional to modern