Why Should I Care About Classical Social Theory?

1. It’s history, baby.

Studying classical sociological theory provides sociology students with knowledge about the history of our discipline. The first modern social theories, what we now categorize as classical theory, were developed largely in the 19th century in concert with the field of sociology. For this reason, classical theory is important for providing an historical context.

2. History shapes the present.

Much of contemporary theory is based in the original concepts developed by the classical social theorists. For example, Marx’s influence is still seen heavily in a variety of neo-Marxist theories.

While a lot has changed since these theories were developed, sociologists find themselves trying to explain many of the same social issues. Classical theory is useful when dealing with this contemporary phenomena.

3. It’s…fun and interesting?

Believe me, it can be. Initially I thought that there was no way I could enjoy social theory, but at some point these concepts just started to “click”. Suddenly I started to see evidence of them everywhere. In things I read. In television shows I watched. Even in my own every day life. And you know what? I realized classical theory doesn’t have to be boring. I hope my blog can help you realize that too!

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