Evolutionist Theory: Structural Theory And Social Action

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Structural theory and Social Action Structural theory implies that the structures of society are the most important influences upon the individuals in that society. Marx assumed that there were two main classes, i.e. the capitalists and the proletariat. Individuals belonging to the proletariat have relatively little freedom of choice and materialistic considerations dominate how society is formed. Karl Marx predicted that the rich would become richer and the poor would become poorer. In practice, in Western Europe, and in particular in the United Kingdom, the rich may have become richer, but the poor have also become richer in real terms. This means over and above the rate of inflation. This situation is not necessarily reflected in some developing…show more content…
As with many other social scientists, Karl Popper drew partly upon evolutionist theory, first advanced by Charles Darwin in his work “On the Origin of Species.” He hoped that society would improve in gradual steps rather than in a revolutionary manner. In his book “The Poverty of Historicism” (1947) Popper attacked social theories that claimed that the social sciences were partly historical sciences, and that there was inevitability about what would…show more content…
Popper was a staunch positivist in suggesting that we need to look attheories and evidence to test them.. One of the problems however, of the positivist approach is that not all ideas are readily quantifiable and there may be problems of pursuing a positivist approach in only looking to test ideas which can be easily tested. This criticism is not however confined to positivist sociologists. Not all sociologists would necessarily believe that we should move towards positivism. There is no one theory of contemporary sociology which is accepted by all sociologists. The original sociologists assumed that the study of sociology would help society to progress to better understanding and this would therefore in turn help to shape better human systems. The concept of positivism dominated sociological thinking from the early part of the 19th century until the early 1960s. Many of the ideas originated with Emile Durkheim who in turn was influenced by Auguste Comte. They both adopted a holistic approach and assumed that in the same way that biologists could improve their study of their subject by studying populations of living creatures (whether it was comparatively simple organisms or much more complicated ones), then this could also be true of human social organisms. They assumed that we would gain more data so that we could in turn test this data

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