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critical realism (CR)

Definition of Critical Realism

(noun) A theory contending things are real if they produce effects.

Example of Critical Realism

Critical Realism Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: crit·i·cal re·al·ism

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /krIt-i-kuhl rEE-uh-liz-uhm/
  • British English – /krIt-i-kuhl rIUH-li-zuhm/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈkrɪtɪkəl ˈriəlɪzm/
  • British English – /ˈkrɪtɪkəl ˈrɪəlɪzm/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: critical realisms
  • Abbreviation: CR
  • Critical realism was developed by Roy Bhaskar (1944–2014) in A Realist Theory of Science (1975).
  • A (noun) critical realist studies the world through a (adjective) critical realistic lens.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Critical Realism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “critical realism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 6, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/critical-realism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

critical realism. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/critical-realism/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “critical realism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/critical-realism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“critical realism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 6 Aug. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/critical-realism/>.