Theory week: Metatheories

Alert: This is yet another post on sociological theories that can bore you to death. Worse, the post is mostly about my bluffing about my random “insights”, which means it is probably not well-structured and will remain that way. This is what happens when a romantic pretends to be a scholar, and when you do sociology in a poetic way.

There is no way I cannot finish it today, but I post it anyway simply to keep myself motivated. (Thank you, my imaginary audience!) It will be a thread organised by dates and “how-do-I-feel-today”. If I am lucky, it will also be organised by themes.

// too much rambling already…

Dec 9, 2015
I didn’t coin the term “meta-theories”. It must have be used by someone and read by me in Rizter’s theory textbook. When you use “meta” as a prefix, that usually means an upgrade of analytical levels, or a grouping of individual properties. Then what’s individual becomes collective, unique becomes common.

That at least shows one hidden property of “meta”, that it can only be used on groupable abstract things. You cannot say “meta-apple”, but you can surely say “meta-field” (Bourdieu’s “field of power”). You can also view life as “meta-cells”.

Well I was wrong. Upgrading of analytical levels doesn’t equal to grouping of individual properties. Because grouping might change the structural of analytical levels. That is, they might not be subject to the same methods of analysis… (Stop here to consider the question: what is an analytical level?)

Like in Bourdieu’s field of power is where legitimacies compete for domination, meta-theory would be something about the legitimacy of (classical) theories.

Dec 10, 2015
Principle one: Happy theories are all alike; every unhappy theory is unhappy in its own way.

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