Sociology 318

September 13, 2002

Examples of theoretical frameworks schematic diagram

1. Marx’s theory of capitalism – middle two paragraphs of Tucker, p. 95

a. Assumptions



development of exchange and markets


self interest of individuals

monetary system

workers do not have ownership of means of production

human labour capable of producing a surplus

b. Concepts



abstract labour


socially necessary labour time


c. Statements or propositions

"a commodity’s exchange value, or price is directly measured by the amount of labour embodied in it."

"The worker is paid her full value as a commodity, for which she receives a sufficient wage to reproduce herself as a laborer."

d. Logically connected statements

Sentences of first paragraph connect to each other in a logical manner.

The following contains several logically connected statements and propositions:

"The worker is paid her full value as a commodity, for which she receives a sufficient wage to reproduce herself as a laborer. Yet the laborer produces more wealth than is necessary for the cost of subsistence."

e. Formats and models

Each of the first and second paragraphs constitute a format or scheme and the two paragraphs together form a theory or model of exploitation.

f. Hypotheses and predictions

These are not stated in the two paragraphs but one hypothesis could be that reducing socially necessary labour time reduces profit.

Another hypothesis is that workers receive sufficient wages to reproduce themselves.

Marx later develops hypotheses about how workers can get increased share – through trade unions, legislation, etc.

Predictions of Marx include continual revolutionizing of the means of production and industry.

g. Policy and practice

Legislation to limit working day.

Formation of trade unions.

Proletarian revolution and socialism.



2. Durkheim’s social solidarity and social change – first two paragraphs of Tucker, p. 129

a. Assumptions

traditional and modern societies and development of markets



individual and personal differences


b. Concepts


mechanical solidarity

traditional or common consciousness

division of labor

organic solidarity

collective conscience

c. Statements or propositions

"In this type of solidarity the common consciousness is strong and individuals are similar to one another, sharing the same beliefs and ideas."

d. Logically connected statements

sentences of each paragraph follow logically

e. Formats and models

The first paragraph is a format or scheme and the two paragraphs constitute a model of society, social solidarity, and social change.

f. Hypotheses and predictions

Traditional consciousness religious and fundamentalist

Modern consciousness secular

Society allows greater room for individual differences

Changed legal system – restitution rather than punishment

g. Policy and practice

Legal systems of modern societies are restitutive

Educational and other social policies connect individual and society


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Last edited September 15, 2002