Sociology

Discourse Theory

Discourse theorists take discourse, rather than language, as their domain in part because of difficulties with the latter term. The standard definition of “language” in linguistics (a set of units and the rules for combining them to make well-formed sentences)… Read More ›

Sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics, or the study of language in relation to society, is a relative newcomer to the linguistic fold. It wasn’t until the early 1960s, largely as a result of William Labov’s work in America, and Peter Trudgill’s in Britain, that… Read More ›

Value Theory

The study of value, called axiology, has three main branches: ethics, concerning the morally good; political theory, concerning the social good; and aesthetics, concerning the beautiful, or taste. One might perhaps add another branch, pragmatics, which concerns the utilitarian good… Read More ›

Critical Theory

Critical Theory is, by and large, concerned with the critique of modernity, modernization, and the modern state. The first generation of critical theorists – Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm – came together in the early… Read More ›

Masculinity Studies

Halberstam’s Female Masculinity (1998) works as a starting point for the discussion of masculinity studies since this text considers the fundamentals of what constitutes masculinity and how the paradigm of female masculinity fits in. Halberstam begins with the assertion of… Read More ›

World Systems Theory

A theory of the operation of the world economic, social and political system, formulated by Immanuel Wallerstein (1974a; 1974b). The chief assertion of this theory is that the capitalist system has been the world economic system since the sixteenth century… Read More ›

Corporeal Feminism

During the 1990s, a group of Australian feminists (e.g., Grosz 1994; Grosz and Probyn 1995; Gatens 1996; Kirby 1997) developed a branch of sexual difference theory known as ‘corporeal feminism.’ Drawing on Irigaray, this group has argued that feminist researchers… Read More ›

Gender Stereotype

The concept of a stereotype was introduced into social science in 1922, when Walter Lippman used it to describe the ‘typical picture’ that comes to mind when thinking about a particular social group (Macrae et al. 1996). A stereotype can… Read More ›

Masculinity/ Masculinities

Masculinity is the set of social practices and cultural representations associated with being a man. The plural ‘masculinities’ is also used in recognition that ways of being a man and cultural representations of/about men vary, both historically and culturally, between… Read More ›

Heterosexism

The word ‘heterosexism’ derives directly from the feminist creation of the term ‘sexism’ during the late 1960s. The first usage of the term heterosexism is given as 1979 by the Oxford English Dictionary and it is defined as ‘prejudice and… Read More ›

Gender Order

The gender order is a patterned system of ideological and material practices, performed by individuals in a society, through which power relations between women and men are made, and remade, as meaningful. It is through the gender order of a… Read More ›

The Sociology of Norbert Elias

German-born sociologist, who held academic posts in Germany, the United Kingdom, Ghana and the Netherlands, Norbert Elias‘s (1897-1990) approach to sociological inquiry is characterised by the use of highly detailed historical study, so that even theoretical questions are addressed in… Read More ›