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Published on Sep 7, 2016
Professor Doug Porpora has just completed a new introduction to critical realism which is now available through Cambridge University Press. This work offers a critical account of the strengths and limitations of sociology as found in the United States and situates critical realism in relation to the major philosophical currents in contemporary sociology including post-structuralism, pragmatism, interpretivism, practice theory, and relational sociology.
Porpora argues that sociological theory and practice is operating with deficient accounts of truth, culture, structure, agency, and causality that are all better served by a critical realist perspective. In particular Porpora argues against the dominant and often implicit positivism which privileges statistical techniques and experimental design over ethnographic and historical approaches.
The questions this webinar will address include: How does CR contribute to contemporary American sociology? What does critical realism contribute to social theory and empirical research? Why does social science need to re-engage with theory? Why do social scientists need to consider and perhaps reassess the metatheoretical assumptions behind their work? Why sociology requires an explicit engagement with questions of ontology?