You may have noticed we've completely redesigned the Theory Section website. Please let us know how you like it in the comments!
Greetings! We write to introduce ourselves as the new editors of Perspectives. This is an exciting time to be a member of the Theory Section, and we look forward to continuing the great work that Claire Decoteau and her predecessors did in making Perspectives into a vibrant hub for theoretical discussion. We’re also working to find new ways to make the newsletter more interactive and engaging for our membership, and in this letter, we lay out our plans for making that happen, including a new online format for accessing newsletter content, efforts to create and sustain dialogue, and a preview of this issue's great content.
In this issue of Perspectives 36(2), Stefan Bargheer's essay The Use(Fulness) of Theory builds the interesting distinction between theories by use and theories by design. We asked Stefan to kick off a conversation on great works in each tradition, and we invite you to join in through the comments, offering your own suggestions for favorite works that are theories by use or design.
We will compile the suggestions into a resource for teaching theory, which will be listed in the Resources section of the website.
Stefan's Favorite Theories:
Theories by Use
Karl Polanyi: The Great Transformation
Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Erving Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Norbert Elias: The Court Society
Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish
Theories by Design
Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann: The Social Construction of Reality
Anthony Giddens: The Constitution of Society
Ralf Dahrendorf: Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society
Hans Joas: The Creativity of Action
Charles Taylor: Sources of the Self
Please join the conversation and add your own suggestions below...
All of this year's JTS afterpanelists engage the central question of "what is theory" often reflecting that question through empirical observations about what we as scholars identify as theory in practice, and unpacking the assumptions that undergird those attributions. For example, Maggie Frye's essay examines why some sections think of themselves as more engaged with "theory" than others. Maggie draws on ASA section membership overlaps with the Theory Section for data, as an expression of self identification with "theory."
In this interactive feature we give you the opportunity engage the question from another angle: what are the ascriptive identifications for the extent to which other sections have a reputation for being "theoretical"?
Two Calls for Abstracts:
2015 Junior Theorists Symposium
Deadline: Feb 13, 2015
August 21, 2015
Call for Abstracts: Symposium for Early Career Theorists (SECT)
Deadline: Feb 2, 2015
University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario
June 1 – 5, 2015.
Letter from the Chair (Hall)
Breaking Down the Iron Cage (Chen)
It's the Political Economy, Stupid (Pacewicz)
What Constitutes a Theoretical Contribution? (Swedberg)
Ethnography and Theory (Shestakofsky)
ASA Section Sessions