Category Archives: Musings on Sociological Theory

Fear and Loathing in the Summer of Covid

As one of Malthus’ four horsemen of human death, disease (& plague & epi/pandemic) has been a central force in human societies. Besides the obvious illness, death, and general misery diseases bring, despite being hidden in plain sight from humans … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Musings on Sociological Theory | 2 Comments

Patrimony and Bureaucracy: Explaining the Age of Trump

And now for something completely different…The Daily Beast recently reported that Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it… … Continue reading

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Cultural Trauma and Total Social Facts

Since Durkheim, sociology has had the habit of looking at psychological phenomena and attempting to co-opt it in the name of social facts and forces. A promising phenomena, one with some relevance for the current COVID pan-pocalypse we are all … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Emotion, Musings on Sociological Theory | Tagged | 1 Comment

PANIC/GRIEF, or the Pain of Social Distance

Do you feel it? The pain of being stuck inside, apart from the people you love? Apart from the routine movements that fill the rounds of daily life that are blindly taken for granted? The patterns of interaction or exchange … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Evolution, Musings on Sociological Theory | 2 Comments

What Is the Point of Sociological Theory?

This morning, I will be embarking on graduate contemporary theory for the eighth time in my career. Every year, it has evolved – sometimes quite significantly – making me the guy who won’t commit to a recurring syllabus and, thereby, … Continue reading

Posted in Musings on Sociological Theory, Teaching | 1 Comment

The Pedagogical Dead-End Known as “Classical” Sociological Theory

This is the first in a series of (increasingly more practical) posts about teaching classical theory; or, perhaps, not teaching it. I have written about  this elsewhere, recently tweeted a thread, and recently recorded two different podcasts (here and here) … Continue reading

Posted in Musings on Sociological Theory, Teaching | 1 Comment

On Institutional Entrepreneurship

For the most part, social scientists either intentionally/unintentionally make vague the unit of selection, or what is being selected on (Runciman 2009; also, a previous post), or turn to the meme or something analogous (Blute 2010; Lenski 2005). But, much cultural evolution … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Musings on Sociological Theory, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sociocultural Evolution: Universal Human Concerns

When I first began writing about institutional evolution (Abrutyn 2009), I was continually confronted with the same problem functionalists had – e.g., why does every society have a “polity” or a “kinship” system? That is, there is something seemingly biological … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Musings on Sociological Theory | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Does Sociology Have Laws? (Spoiler Alert, Yes it Does!)

Yesterday, I was sitting in a faculty retreat and we were discussing whether we needed to restructure the department given the continuous growth of faculty and the increasing number and complexity of exigencies the Head must deal with; exigencies which … Continue reading

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