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TitleWhat is theory for?: against the blindness of empiricism, the open theoretical gaze
Author(s)Araújo, Emília Rodrigues
Brandão, Ana Maria
Issue date14-Sep-2004
PublisherEuropean Sociological Association
Abstract(s)Social theory currently faces several challenges that relate to the urgency of social intervention and practice, one of them being the scarcity of time. We argue that such scarcity both limits the depth of researches and reflections, and the very relevance and social visibility of researches themselves (Nowotny, 1996). Inside academic universes one can see a distinction between researches dealing with "fashionable" themes demanding a relatively short production time and those oriented towards fundamental research demanding a long theoretical and methodological deepening. We suggest that social theory will only stand by itself and, therefore, ensure its original role in and for society if it resists the temptation of completely surrendering itself to the interests of immediate and ready to consume theory. However, this is not to say that the latter should/ could be detached from social reality. In the second and third parts of this paper we focus on the examples of the conceptualisation of social time presented by Durkheim and his students, and on phenomenology, namely on Schütz, Berger and Luckmann, and the concepts of primary and secondary socialisation. Using the results of on-going researches we show how social theory is, in fact, essential not just to understand and explain social reality, but also to point out intervention possibilities.
TypePanel presentation
DescriptionComunicação apresentada na ESA Social Theory Conference, Paris, 14 - 15 Set. 2004.
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CECS - Comunicações / Communications
DS/CICS - Comunicações em encontros internacionais/Papers at International Meetings

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