Chapter 11

Histories

MODERNITY AND MARXISM

Different traditions of social theory have largely been set within the rationalist terms of modernity, placed within a philosophical framework set by an ongoing argument between empiricism and rationalism. These have offered different ways of knowing the social world and establishing objective knowledge but they both accept the centrality of epistemological issues. We learn to think about how we come to know social reality in largely epistemological terms.

This helps to set up a guiding framework within sociology between positivism on the one hand as yielding objective knowledge which is guaranteed through following the impartial controls of a scientific method, and interpretive sociology that focuses ...

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