Theorizing in the social sciences today is in disarray, a disarray marked by the relative disconnection between theory and empirical research, the subordination of sociological to philosophical theorizing, the abolition of boundaries between social science disciplines and subdisciplines and the conflation of the internal logics of sociology. "Sociological Theory: What Went Wrong?" is a compelling analysis of the central problems of sociological theory today and the means to resolve them.
In this book, the author argues for the validity of a truly sociological approach to social theory. To argue his case, Mouzelis selectively appropriates certain anti-essentialist and anti-foundationalist insights developed by poststructuralism and other versions of modern social theory.
By examining critically a variety of developments in Post-Parsonian theorizing, the author both attempts to provide a diagnosis of what went wrong in the development of sociological theory and to offer suggestions of how to overcome the present impasse. The latter is done by the elaboration of a set of concepts--derived mainly but not exclusively from the Marxist and Parsonian traditions--which help us to view under a new light on-going debates on the nature of functionalist explanations, the agency/structure distinction, micro-macro linkages, and the social versus sociological theory controversy.
"Sociological Theory: What Went Wrong?" will be essential reading for all concerned with the state of theorizing in the social sciences today.
"Nicos Mouzselis is...known for his work in development studies as well as on sociological theory. This book is his critique of some key ideas and trends in a certain genre of sociological theory since the 1950s.... The commentary is informative, and the work could well serve as an introduction to these issues for students or others considering them for the first time."