The emphasis of Bryant's work is upon the connections of theory and practice. As we escape from the unrealistic expectations which many once held for the social sciences we can begin to reconstruct the role which social science can play in influencing politics and public decision–making. The social sciences can, and should, play a major practical role in modern social life. In showing how this can still be so, the author gives many specific illustrations and comments extensively on the fortunes of different versions of sociological practice on both sides of the Atlantic.
This book will be essential reading for students, teachers and researchers with special interests in social theory, sociology and political science.
1. Introduction: Theory, Metatheory and Discourse.
2. Concept Formation: Contest and Reconstruction.
3. The Constitution of Society: Agency and Structure.
4. Values in Social Science: Decisions, Justifications and Communities.
5. Models of Applied Social Science: Engineering, Enlightenment, Interaction and Dialogue.
6. Conclusion: Impossible and Possible Sociology.