The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that sociological theory is a major part of the knowledge base needed by sociological practitioners, including both applied and clinical sociologists. Four well-established theories are reviewed to assess their perspectives on social reality, the kinds of problems they would be expected to highlight, and the types of solutions they would be likely to suggest. These are: symbolic interactionism, functionalism or systems theory, exchange theory, and critical theory. It is pointed out that these theories can stimulate sociologists to assess whether their priorities focus on the maintenance of organizational structures or on the fulfillment of human needs.

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