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For a Strong Program of Theoretical Sociology in the 21st Century (2016)


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Harry F. Dahms, Associate Professor of Sociology, Arts and Sciences, UTK

(Mic/Nite, Spring 2016)

In the early 21st century, we are experiencing a proliferation of crises that the classics of social theory, especially Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, warned us about.  Their theories were concerned with the challenge of grasping how the nature of social life in modern societies is characterized at the same time by a bright side and a dark side.  Their theories continue to provide a common denominator for sociologists today who are working in diverse traditions — theoretically, methodologically, and substantively — to contribute to an up-to-date understanding of dilemmas modern societies, as part of human civilization, confront.  Under conditions of globalization, sociology as the social science of modern society is uniquely positioned to scrutinize such challenges as climate change, resource depletion, population growth and financial crises as symptomatic of an on-going process of creative destruction that manifests itself at all levels of social life, from the individual to human civilization.