Abstract: This article examines the main theoretical contributions of critical theory, poststructuralism and postmodernism. It is argued that these three theories offer related perspectives on the shortcomings of positivism as well as new ways to theorize and study contemporary societies. Empirical and conceptual applications of these perspectives in sociological research are discussed. Some of these applications include work in the sociology of deviance, gender, media and culture. Finally, implications of these three theoretical perspectives for the ways sociologists think about the boundaries and territoriality of their discipline are discussed.
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