What follows is a personal appraisal of the development of sociology over the past 50 years. The 1930s were a time of high hopes, empirically (field studies, new statistical techniques) and theoretically (for instance, functionalism and operationalism). The great achievement of sociology has been its development of statistical techniques, but these have had the effect of inhibiting field studies. In theory, sociology has remained divided into a number of different schools, a condition maintained by the failure of most sociologists to consider what a theory is. The condition can be overcome only by sociologists’ accepting the “covering law” view of theory, the covering laws referring to the behavior of individual persons as members of a single species, and the laws themselves being the laws of behavioral psychology. Recent favorable developments in sociology include network analysis, historical sociology, and sociobiology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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