1. (noun) A framework, model, or pattern used to formulate generalizations and theories based on shared assumptions, concepts, questions, methods, practices, and values that structure inquiry.
2. (noun) A widely accepted view.
Audio Pronunciation: (par·a·digm)
Download Audio Pronunciation: paradigm.mp3
- Plural: paradigms
- Paradigms shape how something is seen and how it is understood; however a paradigm should not be confused with a theory, which is an attempt to provide an explanation for something.
- In choosing a paradigm for their research all researchers must account for personal bias.
- Sociologists use numerous paradigms to study and understand society.
- Paradigmaticism refers to a strong allegiance to a paradigm.
- Thomas Kuhn (1922–1996) wrote about the history of science in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) and popularized the idea of paradigms in the social sciences. Kuhn contended that science was influenced and shaped by social systems and that progress in scientific knowledge occurs through shifts from one paradigm to another. Kuhn theorized that paradigms remained unchallenged until enough unexplained anomalies occur that a new paradigm was developed to explain them more effectively. Kuhn developed the idea of normal science to describe scientific work completed during stable paradigm period and a paradigm shift to describe the rapid and revolutionary change from one paradigm to another such as the movement from geocentrism to heliocentrism during the Copernican revolution.
- Also called theoretical perspective.
- Sociologists (verb) paradigmatize (adjective) paradigmatic ideas (adverb) paradigmatically.
- Word origin of “paradigm” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Guba, Egon G. The Paradigm Dialog. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
- Kuhn, Thomas. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Von Dietze, Erich. 2001. Paradigms Explained: Rethinking Thomas Kuhn’s Philosophy of Science. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Wallerstein, Immanuel. 2001. Unthinking Social Science: The Limits of Nineteenth-Century Paradigms. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Farlex. (N.d.) TheFreeDictionary.com: Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).
Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Harper, Douglas. (N.d.) Online Etymology Dictionary. (http://www.etymonline.com/).
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: the Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
How to Cite the Definition of Paradigm
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “paradigm.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/paradigm/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
paradigm. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/paradigm/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “paradigm.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/paradigm/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“paradigm.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/paradigm/>.