• NONTRADITIONAL PERSPECTIVES, THEORY, AND METHODOLOGY Critical Sociology

Jun 27th, 2015
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Critical sociology is an approach to studying society, informed by historical materialism, which seeks to make problematic existing social relations in order to uncover the underlying structural explanations for those relations.

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< More from SAGE eReferenceTop of FormQuick Search Bottom of FormPrint Email Cite Further Readings Related Topics:NONTRADITIONAL PERSPECTIVES, THEORY, AND METHODOLOGY Critical SociologyCritical sociology is an approach to studying society, informed by historical materialism, which seeks to make problematic existing social relations in order to uncover the underlying structural explanations for those relations. As such, it can be applied to all areas of sociological inquiry and is not the study of any subfields within sociology. In each of these areas, we can identify a critical sociology, one that takes to task the underlying assumption of the corresponding mainstream sociology. Advocates of a critical sociology argue that mainstream sociology is, broadly stated, a catalog of what is expected and an explanation for how individuals act when functioning outside those expectations. For critical sociologists, the key is how the norms are defined and what constitutes actions by individuals who violate norms. Where mainstream sociology would see a plane flying out of formation, critical sociology asks whether or not the formation is flying on course, and who or what determines the shape and course of that formation in the first place.There are two very important areas of sociological research taken for granted at present, but which can easily be identified as the product of a critical sociological lens. The first is the emergence of class as a research concept,

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