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Ideology, Foundationalism, and Sociological Theory

M. Gottdiener
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Nov., 1993), pp. 653-671
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4121373
Page Count: 19
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Ideology, Foundationalism, and Sociological Theory
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Abstract

The issue of foundationalism and the growing irrelvance of sociological meta-theorizing to the understanding of contemporary society is considered from the perspective of postmodernism. Foundationalism is treated as a form of ideology. Changes in the analysis of ideology are discussed briefly and the postmodern approach to the critique of grand narratives, or logocentrism, is introduced. Two meta-narratives, neofunctionalism and conflict theory, are criticized as illustrative examples of logocentrism. The postmodern critique is then applied to the issue of foundationalism as recently articulated in the "Seidman controversy," which is exposed as containing hidden foundationalist implications of its own. The critique of foundationalism raises three issues that are discussed: the possibility of a deontological social theory, narrative as social inquiry, and the social role of academics as intellectuals.

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