Describing the field of sociology as a comprehensive research tradition, this book analyzes the field's various sub-traditions, and demonstrates that many of these traditions not only intersect, but share conceptual components. In close analyses of its central theoretical elements, the author develops an integrative philosophy of the field. Classical traditions in sociological thought are honored and utilized while newer methodologies, such as process studies, ethnomethodology, and network analysis, are incorporated. The emphasis of the book is on the formalization and unification of processes in order to advance the state of theory today. Along the way, numerous conceptual issues and methodological problems of interest in contemporary sociological theory are discussed.
"...a major work...thoughtful, provocative, and substantial...Fararo has demonstrated that he is the best formal theorist sociology now has." Lee Freese, Contemporary Sociology "...an important and provocative book by a thoughtful, comprehensive, and powerful thinker...Theoretical sociologists will ignore it at their peril." |f Joseph Woelfel, Social Forces "The combination of philosophical issues, sociological questions, and theoretical methods that characterizes Fararo's book makes it likely that the book will become a standard reference for working theorists." American Journal of Sociology