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Developing Cumulative and Practical Knowledge through Metatheorizing

Jonathan H. Turner
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 34, No. 3, Recent Explorations in Sociological Metatheorizing (Autumn, 1991), pp. 249-268
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/1389510
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1389510
Page Count: 20
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Developing Cumulative and Practical Knowledge through Metatheorizing
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Abstract

A particular strategy for metatheorizing is proposed. This strategy is designed to produce better theory and is to be distinguished from alternative types of metatheorizing that do not generate testable propositions. This strategy involves extracting the key processes, and their relations, from existing theories in order to create analytical models that express the dynamic processes contained in each theory. Then, these models are reconciled and used to produce abstract principles which, it is argued, can produce testable hypotheses guiding empirical research. This strategy is illustrated by an analysis of three theories of geopolitics.

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