I have always argued that theories are what we want the world to be, think it would be, or not want it to be, constructing an umbrella for the happenings and societal flow.
The reality begins where we state facts of individuals living through a given period, where individuals of a society confirm the theory.
The general issue is that regardless of how many scholarly sources support the theories, the living society is rather excluded.
I will happily say that sociologists should rather construct and address the reality behind the theory than focus on papers that would anyway be only understood within academia (jargon is only one and the least significant reason).
I’m saying the latter assuming that we all agree that sociologists are some people that know a lot of history and can affirm a society’s situation, reason why the situation is that, critically assess it, and eventually come up with some improvement plan or if the situation is fine then a plan to keep it that way. Otherwise, as a sociologist myself, I wouldn’t know what else we do (as sociologists and not working in other fields).
I want to reject the idea that we would actually be supposed to treat theories on all their sides and try to stretch them to match some contemporary situation, always saying that “…yeah, this is what Weber (or someone else, but it’s usually him!) was saying when he wrote that … “. We should be looking around us, seeing what’s happening with the actual individuals in the society, rather than overall trends/tendencies.
Statistical sociology is a bit better than everything else since it actually requires us to find out what people say/think/do but unfortunately, when we then address it through an article, we lose its reality by writing 3/4 theory (quoting people that said something a century ago) and 1/4 actual data that allegedly matches some part of said theory.
If we’re looking at political sociology articles, we see how sociologists try to match the current situation to some intellectual that lived a hundred years ago and allegedly predicted the future. But shouldn’t we say that indeed it is this situation, let us see why, and that would not be because someone ‘predicted’ it, but because of x and y changes in the society and economic situation, etc.?
But I think my fight here is useless. Sociology has been this way since… it has always been this way. Unfortunately, having such a rapidly changing world, I think that us and a lot more other things (education system, banking system, law and order), should change as well, adapt, improve…