This chapter examines the approach to the world found in the most prestigious genre of work in sociology, general theory. It focuses on three of the most influential sociological thinkers: James S. Coleman, Anthony Giddens and Pierre Bourdieu. James S. Coleman's Foundations of Social Theory was published in 1990 as the summation of a very distinguished intellectual career. Across a thousand pages, Foundations makes a heroic traverse of sociological problems ranging from socialisation and the family to corporate management, the state and revolution. In 1984 Anthony Giddens published The Constitution of Society, with the subtitle 'Outline of the Theory of Structuration'. The text of Constitution alternates between critical commentary on existing literature, and frequent bursts of definition and concept-elaboration. Pierre Bourdieu's The Logic of Practice is an attempt to develop a credible basis for social-scientific knowledge, in the form of an analytic strategy and conceptual language, and to show this approach at work.