Theorizing in sociology has increasingly become a self-generating and self-fulfilling activity, as sociologists absorb theory as an isolated and formalist part of their discipline. Joe Bailey believes that sociological theory should be a contribution to practical social intervention. His book presents a practical view of social theorizing as an activity at which sociologists are skilled and which they could teach to the interventionist professions. The relation between theory and practice is defined as one in which theory guides practice and makes explicit necessary choices. A description of disciplines and professions is provided as a basis for examining social intervention in three areas – law, social work and urban planning. The author considers some exemplary contributions which sociological theorizing could and should provide, and concludes by proposing a pluralist view of theory as the best strategy for a sociology relevant to practice.
1. Sociology's Place 2. Disciplines and Professions 3. Law and Social Theory 4. Social Work and Social Theory 5. Planning and Social Theory 6. Social Theory for Intervention