|Class, you are to discuss what “theory” means to “you”, along with the words “classical” and “contemporary.” What would be the critical components of each of those concepts, according to your current knowledge? Lastly, share why you think the knowing theory is important and how it may relate to your educational or career path This is to be 250 words, APA, that must include references. Class is mindful of grammar, and punctuation…
Theories and their Importance
Theories play a crucial role in explaining various phenomena. In sociology, theories explain how some aspect of human performance or behavior is organized thus allowing us to predict human behavior. The components of theories are principles (standards that express the relationship between two or more concepts) and concepts (figurative representation of an actual thing). To me, theory means an explanation to how things are. For instance, why people behave as they do, the existence of numerous conflicts in the world, and even reasons as to why people engage in substance abuse or crime.
Knowing theory is important because it helps us understand what we observe as well as how to bring about change. For instance, classical sociological theories served to explain that all people were equal under the state with state ownership of property unlike the contemporary theories that explains sociopolitical and economic disparities of societies. Theories allow us to understand problems as they arise such as increase crime or delinquent behaviors among youths thus allowing us to develop solutions to the problems.
Theories also guide academic research work by allowing us to understand what we do not know. Theories influence how research evidence or data is gathered, analyzed, interpreted and used.Theories are important to sociology classes are akin to chemical tests that seek to explain the composition of certain compounds and why they react as they do when mixed together in that theories explain why societal elements behave as they do. Theories can also help improve my civic competence by enlightening me to make rational and informed decisions on all issues.
Theories also improve professional practice (Haugh, 2012). By embracing different theories in the sociological field such as the functionalist theory, the cognitive theory and the symbolic interaction theory, sociologists like myself can better improve their practices. The conflict theory, for instance, serves to explain the existence of conflict in the society by attributing it to the existing socioeconomic disparities (Sears, 2008). Hall (2007) on the other hand, posits that the symbolic interaction theory explains societal behavior by alluding to people’s dialect utilization when dealing with others. For instance, sociologists can determine the causes of alcohol and substance dependency using available theories which would in turn determine the best methods of intervention.
Theories are also important to sociologists because they help in decision making. One can only make sound decisions that affect certain communities once they understand them better. For instance, increased cross border movements and immigration have resulted in social ills. A government seeking to address this issue can only do so by researching about the immigrants and inferring theories to understand why they engage in particular behaviors. Government agencies, for instance can apply these theories to determine best interventions to help alleviate certain societal issues.
In a nutshell, sociology revolves around studying the society in general or key societal elements such as religion, families and other social institutions. Sociologists often develop numerous theories to explain varied social phenomena such as why families end up breaking up or why some families suffer from alcohol dependency or crime. I would say that theory is a significant concept to me as not only does it allow me to understand how and why things occur as they do but also allows me to grasp certain concepts in class. As a future sociologist, theories will largely inform my practice.
Hall, P. (2007). Symbolic Interaction. London: Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.
Haugh, H. (2012). The importance of theory in social enterprise research.Social Enterprise Journal,8(1), 7 – 15.
Sears, A. (2008). A Good Book, In Theory: A Guide to Theoretical Thinking. North York: Higher Education University of Toronto Press.