Sociology: Recent Developments in Sociological Theory

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Sociology plays an important part in individual life. It puts much emphasis on people understanding of their life and the meaning of individualism and society. The recent sociological theory emphasizes on capitalism, methodological individualism, bureaucracy and rationality as key concepts playing a part of individual life. The modern sociological theory owes much to the chronological Marx, Weber and Durkheim contributions to society social life.

The 21st century, the sociological theory has dealt much on the rise in the loss of religion and tradition that had kept the society intact in the past. People develop cultic groups and provide wrong teachings on religion. Massive killing and religious conflicts have been on a rise. Religious groups such as Christians and Muslims fight for superiority as they differed in their value teaching and destined religious beliefs. Durkheim had long predicted the loss of religion and had mentioned that there could be a rise in secularization. Functionalist theory in modern society gives emphasis to the formation of strong Family Corporation and the need to emphasis on religion and virtues be taught to enhance morality.

Most institutions of education value individual works. Thesis, classwork and project developments have been valued to be more individual. Most modern philosophers and socialists have appreciated the fact that rational choice theory is leading development in the current society especially in innovation and inventions in economics, science, and technology. Zweck rational action by Weber defined that the decisions of an engineer to build a bridge and army general to win a war, such actions are only defined by his goals and makes sure he chooses the appropriate method to attain these targets. Recent developments in the society emphasize on the rational facts on Weber insights and defines rationality as the knowledge of the actor. As Weber individual life differs with is need of achieving better future. Most professors have argued that most of the students have different insights in life, and they are better when doing works alone. As Joseph Schumpeter, who was the first-weber student to apply methodological concepts, every student can achieve their targets when they work on individual basis.

Similarly to Weber and recent developments in sociological theory, Durkheim emphasizes on individualism and its methodology. In his suicide theory, he explains the consequences of an imbalance of regulations and integration in modern life. Fatalistic, Anomie, Altruistic and Egoistic concepts concur with the current sociological theory which emphasizes that society is in capacity to fail individual dreams and goals. Most reports show how wealthy and unmarried commit suicide on many occasions. These kinds of persons struggle to make the society better but due to due to lack of integration with the society they fail. They lack anomie morality which is best inaugurated in an individual level.

Furthermore, capitalism was emphasized by Max Weber. His belief was on rationality and not the social facts. In modern society, utilitarianism brings reasoning and driving forces behind capitalism, science and technology. Exercising capitalism leads to development of bureaucracy. Sociological theory admits that administration is rational and efficient. However, capitalism may be dehumanizing and leading to disenchantment. In modern society, democracy and aristocracy forms of government have been in existence. Most sociological theories argue that in the democracy especially in developed countries is merely practiced. The state law may be in a fight for freedom, but leaders practice dictatorship. Some are traditional while others are charismatic and thus only uses their ability to get elected but after then becomes a dictator. Though value bureaucracy, rational-legal leadership is emphasized. Citizens emerging values supports the development of modern capitalism.

The sociological theory stresses the need for an employer to value employee and vice versa. The existing classes are due to power, religion and social difference in the current society. Most socialist sees the need for every system to production to make sure that although a class difference in society existing, every individual should play their part in fulfilling their needs and ensure quality in life. For example in a line of production of bread making, if an employee leaves, then, quality and amount of work done are reduced. This fact makes employer loss and other staff affected. The current sociologist more emphasizes the need of emphasis of working as a team as stated by Marx.

In conclusion, most sociological theory and socialist have borrowed much from Weber, Marx, and Durkheim insights. The need of bureaucracy and capitalism, individualism in achieving one goal get emphasized. Society needs to accept the fact that power and religion separate us into classes but does not hinder us from developing our targets and also working with others.


Alexander, Jeffrey C. Modern Reconstruction of Classic Thought: Talcott Parsons. Routledge, 2014.

Craib, Ian. Modern social theory. Routledge, 2015document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);