How to approach social theory actively, with a theoretical lens analogous to the use of methods, has been a challenge for professional scholars and students alike. Rather than treating social theory in an iconic manner, we explore the active use of theorizing for constructing and generating new knowledge. Examples of theoretical constructions and topics discussed include: the heuristic role of concepts; theoretical construction work; the importance of question-driven sociology; counterfactual reasoning; the power of ordinary language; an inventory of explanatory practices in social science; abduction; comparative case studies; class operations and the potential for using Merton’s middle range theory. Theory in Action is highly relevant for researchers and students interested in constructing theories in the social sciences. Contributors are: Göran Ahrne, Mette Andersson, Roar Hagen, Willy Guneriussen, Ragnvald Kalleberg, Håkon Leiulfsrud, Willy Martinussen, Annick Prieur, Peter Sohlberg, Pål Strandbakken, and Richard Swedberg.
Rather than treating concepts and their application in a static and iconic manner, Concepts in Action provides us with examples of the active and creative use of concepts for constructing and generating new knowledge. Examples of theoretic constructions and topics discussed refers to the function of theory in main stream sociology; concepts enabling us to expand the range of interpretations; a critical view and approach to general concepts of culture, nature and consumption; concepts dealing with organization, institutions and actors; and examples of travelling concepts such as class, gender, race and social recognition. Concepts in Action follows on the earlier Theory in Action (2016) as part of a three volume project broadening our understanding of the interplay of theory and methods. The forthcoming third volume will focus on the strategy of constructing and analyzing the object in social science. This volume is highly relevant for researchers and students interested in theoretical construction in the social sciences. Contributors are: Göran Ahrne, Mette Andersson, Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen, Anne Britt Flemmen, Antje Gimmler, Willy Guneriussen, Roar Hagen, Raimund Hasse, Håkon Leiulfsrud, Willy Martinussen, John Scott, Peter Sohlberg, Pål Strandbakken, Richard Swedberg and Erik Olin Wright.