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Are Conceptual Frameworks Necessary for Theory Building? The Case of Family Sociology

Hyman Rodman
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 21, No. 3 (Summer, 1980), pp. 429-441
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106304
Page Count: 13
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Are Conceptual Frameworks Necessary for Theory Building? The Case of Family Sociology
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Abstract

Many "theoretical" writings in sociology and in the social sciences use conceptual frameworks (perspectives, paradigms). Developments in family sociology are used as a case study to explore the role of conceptual frameworks in the growth of scientific theory. The claim that conceptual frameworks are necessary for theory building is evaluated. Us writs in family sociology and in the philosophy of science, the claim is found wanting. Social scientists are therefore cautioned to avoid conceptual work that is only rhetorically related to the development of theory.

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