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The Return To Values In Recentsociological Theory

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Chapter Summary

The problem of value judgments and their role in sociological thinking is one of the perennial riddles of sociology. This chapter focuses on the historical overview and introduces an analytic typology of three ways in which values have been treated in sociology: (a) as a bias, (b) as an ideology, (c) as a part of meaning. The first position treats values as personal and subjective biases, which sociologists, being human, cannot avoid and which interfere in research. The second traditional approach to values treats them as synonymous with ideologies. The relatively new tendency is the treatment of society as an incessant process, rather than stable system, as a fluid field of forces in permanent transformation, rather than a fixed structure, or metaphorically-as social life rather than social organism.

Keywords: human society; social organism; sociological theory



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