This page was introduced with the 7th Edition in 2008. It will be replaced with a Facebook page for interaction among users of the book.

It is now an archive of the questions that were asked and the answers submitted by students.

Question of the Moment
Moderated by Andrew Ledbetter

January 13, 2010

Which metaphor for theory (pp. 5-6) do you find most helpful (nets, lenses, maps)? To what extent do you share Em’s concern about this metaphor? Or, can you think of another metaphor that might help others understand what theories are and what they do?

University of Texas Permian Basin
I believe all of the metaphors are helpful. However, I, personally, picture theories like a mailroom sorter, with slots or cubby-holes for every theory. Themes and similiarities can be labeled by column and/or row headings. Once all the labels are in place, situations, scenarios and ideas can be sorted into the applicable theories. Some situations will fit into more than one theory, so copies can be placed in each one. Some will not fit anywhere, so there would need to be an "other" or "hold for more information" file. Theorists interested in developing new theories could look there first.

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