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Sociological Theories: Relevance

Could you help me understand what a sociological theory is?
What is the difference between society and culture?
What methods do sociologists use to conduct research?
Where can I find information I can understand on Emile Durkheim's study of suicide so I can discuss his research question, his methods, and his theory regarding suicide? Could it be possible to agree with Durkheim's conclusions? Please help me undesrstand.

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Dear Student,
I usually do not give extensive guides on this subject matter when concise ones would suffice to the credit value you attached on this post. I understand however that you really need to have these concepts explained in detail especially since they can be overwhelming- too many terms with seemingly complex meanings. Don't worry, theyre easy enough to understand. Fortunately, sociology is my specialization and I would love to help you understand these concepts. The information below will guide you to understand the concepts presented in your posting. Remember that the Social Sciences is a continually evolving and utterly dynamic field. Unlike the natural sciences, the subject matter of the 'Social' cannot be studied 'under a microscope' with pure objectivity. That is plainly because of the nature of the subject - society, cultures, groups - human beings. Social scientists are 'learning' about society - what makes it tick, its dynamics by being a part of it. The Social Sciences is a huge field - history, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, economics, philosophy, etc. These fields or areas of specialization combine at times to further on explore new ideas and constantly 'borrow' from each other in terms of methods, perspectives and philosophies to follow because of their nature - they are 'social sciences'. I hope that this solution will guide you in the right path. Please note that the solution is written in an essay form and the sources & books from where all these ideas are referenced from are noted in the reference Section. Go on ahead and visit the links to expand the knowledge presented here.

OTA 105878/

Sociological Theories & Perspectives

What is a sociological theory? First off, let's define a theory. A theory is a belief or claim that aims to explain a particular phenomenon. In the social sciences, a theory signifies a conjecture or a hypothesis arrived at using scientific methods. When we say scientific method, it means that the 'hypothesis' of the theory was tested following set rules in terms of data gathering, testing and analysis. In the social sciences though, the concern is to arrive at theories that 'can explain' phenomenon more than theories that can be 'universally used'. Unlike in mathematics where a theory can be universal, like x=c²+b² where all the variables can be accounted for, the Social World is an Open system, meaning, not all variables can be accounted for or controlled. Therefore, social theories are used to 'solve' social phenomenon - events that require an explanation to arrive at a solution. Take for instance the problem of migration. Migration is a social phenomenon that social scientists tackle to find solutions to it. This is why the social sciences are of great importance to governments & policy makers. Society requires to be understood - how it works, so it can be governed with the ideals that is generally accepted by all its members as 'just' and 'good'.

Now, Sociological Theories evolve through time, generally, any theory used to explain social phenomenon is a Sociological theory. The earliest of this was 'positivism', an idea that surfaced during the Age of Enlightenment shared by August Comte, Hebert, Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Immanuel Kant & their ...

Solution Summary

The essay explains what sociological theories are and their relevance in research. Written in APA format, word version provided for easy printing.