Social theory refers to the use of analytical frameworks for examining society and social phenomena. While the term is often used interchangeably with sociology, it is nonetheless considered to be a broader concept that also includes perspectives from the humanities. Social theory asks questions such as “What is society?” and “What are the driving forces for social change?” It points to socials ills and suggests remedies. Among the main topics it discusses are social systems and agency. Among the many key figures in the field of sociology are Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, John Dewey, Max Weber, Niklas Luhmann, Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, and Jean-François Lyotard.

Social theory includes research streams such as structural functionalism, poststructuralism, symbolic interactionism, critical theory, feminist theory, postmodernist theory, and ...

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