The Metaconvergence Spiral Rethinking Sociological Working Styles Systemically
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences September 2014, Vol. 4, No. 9
6 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2014
In terms of working styles, sociological works can be categorized in relatively few kinds:
1. Qualitative local based works. They are rather focused on small scale ethnographical information and participant observation. Probably the most famous and exemplary sociological research of this kind is Whyte's Street Corner Society.
2. Quantitative middle range works trying to balance theory and empirical research. Robert K. Merton's Theory and social structure is the masterpiece which embodies this working style at its top. Both these working styles had not great generalization standards. Merton's key work implicitly framed the problem of generalization when he considered the systematization of the most relevant theoretical-empirical findings to expand their range. The matter of comparison dramatically emerged also though the growing internationalization of what Elias called the civilization process.
3. Comparative Sociology, both diachronically and synchronically, emerged as a key vision to expand the sociological horizons beyond the specific territory and time limitations which features the two other working styles. Comparative Sociology generated high quality contributions to compare "entities" (social and institutional ones). This working style implied very broad but neat and simple scenarios in which the entities were compared thus very wide but simple scenarios in which complex interconnections were rather weak. Variety increases by hybridation and then comparisons become very unlikely and the convergence concept in the age of complexity scenarios is not a mere socio-cultural convergence. What is convergence then? Before answering this question, one further step in mapping sociological working styles is required.
4. One forth working style is general sociological theory which is a great stream focused on the epistemological construction of conceptual and semantic systematization of scientific knowledge by letting converge the key foundations and findings of interdisciplinary studies. No convergence would never be possible without this kind of working style.
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