Introduction: From Implicit to Explicit Theories

The practical common sense we use in everyday life includes a good deal of implicit sociological theorizing. The purpose of this chapter is to move beyond these implicit theories. The different levels of the social world which will be discussed in this volume range from face-to-face encounters and personal relationships to the large-scale institutional patterns of society and long-range social trends. The goal of this process is to develop a distinctive sociological imagination. To establish a foundation for achieving these goals, this chapter will focus on the following topics:
  • Everyday life theories and facts

  • Implicit versus explicit theories

  • Multiple levels of social reality and contrasting theoretical perspectives

  • Agency and structure

  • National variations in the classical roots of sociological theory


Social World Social Reality Explicit Theory Sociological Theory Chicago School 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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