Introduction to Theoretical Perspectives on Society

What you’ll learn to do: describe theoretical perspectives on society

Five old hardcover books are stacked on top of one another on a desk. An open notebook and a black pen is sitting to the right of the stack of books.

While many sociologists have contributed to research on society, three thinkers are considered fundamental: Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. They all developed different useful theoretical approaches to help us understand the way societies function.

The most fascinating thing about these three theorists is that their theories, much like the theory of relativity that Albert Einstein developed at the turn of the twentieth century (1905-1915), still provide useful tools for us to understand the events around us. As you think about your experiences in a post-industrial society, how can the three theoretical paradigms help you make sense of the changing world?


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Introduction to Sociology Lumen/OpenStax Copyright © 2021 by Lumen Learning & OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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