Contemporary sociology and social theory are deeply penetrated by the idea that sociology is by its own nature a «multi-paradigm» science or discipline, and that it is not possible nor desirable to advance towards a higher degree of integration. This article argues against that belief, and defends the possibility and desirability of establishing a set of shared «rules of the game», as a logical and institutional condition in order to produce sociological knowledge in a fruitful and critical way. To that aim, some useful analytical distinctions are made: first, between genuine theoretical pluralism and pseudo-pluralism; second, between lexical, semantical, methodological, epistemic, and theoretical integration; and third, between «simple» and «complex» integration (or «consilience»). Additionally, the article presents some hypothesis to explain the popularity of this myth among sociologist; it is stressed that the myth may be used as a shield against criticism.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2010|
- Analytical sociology
- Sociological theory
- Theoretical integration
- Theoretical pluralism