This chapter deals with some of the key problems in social science. It is focused on the relationships between structure and agency, the material and the ideational and stability and change. These issues, here termed meta-theoretical issues, are clearly related for two reasons. Firstly, discussions about/positions on structure/agency and the material and the ideational are invariably invoked to explain stability and change, surely the most fundamental issue in social science. Secondly, positions on all these meta-theoretical issues are clearly related and, as I shall argue below, influenced by the particular author’s ontological and epistemological starting point. This chapter is divided into four sections: initially I take up the second point above, examining how positions on structure and agency and the material and the ideational are related; and subsequently, I deal with each of the meta-theoretical issues in turn, outlining the key positions and crucial debates in the area.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Meta-Theoretical Issues
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 10