During the last few years a number of articles and books have appeared that signal the emergence of a novel approach to the role of theory in sociology. Instead of equating theory with important studies, the main focus of this approach is how to use theory in ongoing empirical research and especially what happens before the presentation of the results. The key task is to empower the individual researcher to do better research. A word that keeps recurring, and that can also be said to summarize this approach, is theorizing. Three core ideas of this approach are discussed: Theorizing is of a practical nature, it draws on a number of basic theorizing tools (such as abduction, abstraction, and analogy), and the area covered by theorizing is considerably larger than that of conventional theory. If successful, the approach of theorizing would demand a much more active and central role for the theoretician in sociology.


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