chapter  4
Pages 12

In the preceding pages I have argued that the emergence, with Parsons, of sociological theory as a specialized subdiscipline of sociology is not as disastrous as early critics of Parsonian functionalism would have had us believe. In so far as sociological theory as a subdiscipline aims at constructing not substantive, universal/foundationalist generalizations but conceptual tools for facilitating empirical research, this type of specialized and often highly abstract endeavour has a legitimate place within the growing division of labour among social science disciplines and subdisciplines. Moreover, it can also play a leading role in combating the tight compartmentalization that characterizes the unavoidable proliferation of theoretical paradigms and empirical specializations in sociology today.