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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Helen Haugh

The purpose of this article is to review the importance of theory in social enterprise research.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to review the importance of theory in social enterprise research.

Design/methodology/approach

The article presents and relates previous work on theory borrowing, theory extension and theory generation to social enterprise research.

Findings

Theoretical embeddeness and social relevance are important for the legitimacy of social enterprise research.

Research limitations/implications

Social enterprise research offers a promising array of opportunities for theory extension and development.

Practical implications

In the social sciences, practical relevance is important for good theory development. Better theories have the potential to improve practice.

Originality/value

The article applies previous research on theory borrowing, extension and development to the context of social enterprise research.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2013

Patricia Hill Collins

This essay critically assesses Connell’s Southern Theory. Operating from the premise that knowledge is a “project” embedded in power relations, the essay suggests that…

Abstract

This essay critically assesses Connell’s Southern Theory. Operating from the premise that knowledge is a “project” embedded in power relations, the essay suggests that while the scope of ideas surveyed in Southern Theory is an important accomplishment, two main dilemmas can be found. The first is that Southern Theory inadvertently puts “Northern theory” at the center. The second is that the southern theorists examined tend to be educated elites from the Global South, thereby overlooking other actors in the Global South and their ways of doing theory. Struggling to change, not just the ideas, but also the ownership, vested interests and institutional actors of social theory as knowledge project might create space for much needed dialogues across differences in power.

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Decentering Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-727-6

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Abstract

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Individualism, Holism and the Central Dilemma of Sociological Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-038-7

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Book part
Publication date: 8 December 2021

Harry F. Dahms

The burden social theorists must be willing to accept, respond to, and act upon pertains to the difficulties that predictably accompany all efforts to convey to…

Abstract

The burden social theorists must be willing to accept, respond to, and act upon pertains to the difficulties that predictably accompany all efforts to convey to nontheorists the unwelcome fact of heteronomy – that as actors, we are not as autonomous as we were told and prefer to assume – and to spell out what heteronomy in the form in which it has been shaping the developmental trajectory of modern societies means for professional theorists. I introduce the concept of “vitacide,” designed to capture that termination of life is a potential vanishing point of the heteronomous processes that have been shaping modern societies continuing to accelerate and intensify in ways that prefigure our future, but not on our human or social terms. Heteronomy pointing toward vitacide should compel us as social theorists to consider critically both the constructive and destructive trajectory that social change appears to have been following for more than two centuries, irrespective of whether the resulting prospect is to our liking or not. In this context, the classical critical theorists of the early Frankfurt School, especially Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, pursued what turned out to be an evolving interest in rackets, the authoritarian personality, and the administered society – concepts that served as foils for delineating the kind of theoretical stance that is becoming more and more important as we are moving into an increasingly uncertain future.

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Empirical Nursing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-814-9

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Malcolm Tight

The theory of human capital has arguably been the most influential theory impacting upon higher education policy (and educational policy in general) worldwide over the…

Abstract

The theory of human capital has arguably been the most influential theory impacting upon higher education policy (and educational policy in general) worldwide over the last half century or more. In more recent years it has been supplemented by social capital theory. This chapter reports on a systematic review of publications that have applied these theories in the context of higher education research, examining the origins and meanings of the theories, their application and practice, and the issues and critiques that have been raised. It concludes that while both theories have underlying faults, most notably perhaps in their treatment of human beings and their relationships as resources, they remain essential to higher education and higher education research in maintaining the interest of policy-makers and funders.

Abstract

Purpose

To consider Critical Management Studies as a social movement.

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose is fulfilled by reflecting upon the history of Critical Management Studies by reference to social movement theory, institutional theory and the social theory of hegemony.

Findings

Critical Management Studies is plausibly understood as a social movement.

Originality/value

The chapter offers a fresh perspective on Critical Management Studies by representing it as a movement rather than as a specialist field of knowledge.

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2005

Robert J. Antonio

Theorists often point to social theory's normativity, but Gouldner's later works provide the most explicit, comprehensive treatment of it as post-traditional normative…

Abstract

Theorists often point to social theory's normativity, but Gouldner's later works provide the most explicit, comprehensive treatment of it as post-traditional normative discourse – a practice distinct from sociology and sociological theory, yet linked historically and analytically to them. His argument about the need for a discourse space to debate social science's normative directions and to strengthen its connections to civil society is relevant today. Because Gouldner's approach has gaps and is somewhat fragmented I will reconstruct his argument about social theory per se. Although I point to problems that derive from his incomplete pragmatic turn, his approach offers an excellent departure point for discussing the meaning of social theory.

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Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-363-1

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Book part
Publication date: 9 March 2016

Abstract

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Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-946-6

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory

Abstract

For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukács contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukács's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two theories in the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of “doing theory” has shifted from Marx's critique of economic determinism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization.

Details

The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

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