University of California,
In the first part of this essay (Perspectives, Fall 2015), I suggested things are looking pretty good for sociological theory, an optimism grounded in my appreciation of emergent sociological sub-fields where interesting theoretical work is being paired with innovative new measurement regimes to create different kinds of sociological insights. I pointed to the field of computational sociology (or Big Data social science) as an example. In this second part, I offer a few reasons why I think this area of research will continue to need more and better theory in the years ahead. I highlight three causes, what I call: (1) the paradigm effect, (2) the data effect, and (3) the culture effect.