A Resocialized Conception of Man in Modern Sociology

Dennis H. Wrong

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46938/tv.2007.457


Dennis H. Wrong postulates sociological theory’s origins in the asking of general questions about man and society. Th e answers lose their meaning if they are elaborated without reference to the questions, as has been the case in much contemporary theory. An example is the Hobbesian question of how men become tractable to social controls. Th e two-fold answer of contemporary theory is that man „internalizes“ social norms and seeks a favorable self-image by conforming to the „expectations“ of others. Such a model of man denies the very possibility of his being anything but a thoroughly socialized being and thus denies the reality of the Hobbesian question. Th e Freudian view of man, on the other hand, which sociologists have misrepresented, sees man as a social though never a fully socialized creature. Wrong claims that sociologists need to develop a more complex, dialectical conception of human nature instead of relying on an implicit conception that is tailor-made for special sociological problems.

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