Use the synthesized method for theory evaluation to examine a middle range theory .

 Use the synthesized method for theory evaluation to examine a middle range theory . Write a brief paper (2-3 pages) using the theory evaluation exemplar as a guide. The paper can be formatted similar to the exemplar, must have a cover page and references page. Reference and cover page must be in APA format, minimum of 2 references, you can use theoretical Basis for Nursing as one of the references. 	

Model Answer

Middle range theory refers to an approach that involves sociological theorizing. The approach is intended to assimilate empirical research and theory. It is presently the effective dominant method used in sociological hypothesis development, particularly in America (McEwen & Wills, 2011). The analysis in the subsequent sections provides a detailed evaluation of this approach.


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            Middle range hypothesis begins with an empirical spectacle and abstracts. From the abstracts general statements are formulated. These statements are precise and verifiable by data. The approach contradicts the grand theorizing of sociological hypothesis, such a conflict and functionalism theories. Boudon Raymond, sociologist, believes that middle-range approach is the same idea that most other scholars basically call theory. The analytical sociology drive has as its goal the integration of such hypothesis into a comprehensible paradigm at a higher degree of abstraction.

            It is important to note that the expression Middle-range-theory does not signify a precise theory, but is fairly an approach or a method to hypothesis construction. Therefore, the approach can be perceived as a pledge to two concepts. The first idea is positive, and illustrates what such hypothesis should do: sociological proposition, like all scientific hypotheses, should be aimed at consolidating otherwise segregated theories and empirical regularities.  Therefore, a valid theory should explain, consolidate and federate empirical uniformities which would seem otherwise segregated. The other idea is negative, and relates to the specific things that a theory cannot accomplish. As such, it is quixotic and hopeless to attempt to establish the all-embracing independent variable applicable in all social courses (Smith & Liehr, 2014). Moreover, it is incorrect to attempt to establish the essential characteristic of social set-up or to determine various concepts that would be adequate to explain all social phenomena.

            The pioneer of middle-range theory, Merton Robert, was determined to explain why the general social hypothesizing by Talcott parsons, lacked some crucial components. Robert agreed with Talcott that a constricted empiricism comprising entirely of simple observational or statistical consistencies cannot attain a successful supposition. However, Robert discovered that Talcott constructions were remote from giving a challenging hypothesis. The formulations could also not provide a direction for hypothesis-oriented empirical inquest into the observable domains of society and culture. He was therefore opposed to the nonconcrete theorizing of researchers who are aimed at constructing a total hypothetical structure covering all features of social life and culture (McEwen & Wills, 2011). With development of middle-range theory approach, he proposed that scholars should focus on measurable traits of social truth that can be analyzed as distinct social concept, rather than trying to describe the entire social life. He perceived both the approach and the specific theories as impermanent. As such, Robert felt that when they the theories mature, as natural discipline already had, they would become a composition of universal laws. However, he emphasized that until that time comes, social disciplines should cease from attempting to formulate a universal hypothesis (McEwen & Wills, 2011).

            Merton’s innovative foil in the formulation was Parsons Talcott, whose work Merton categorized as a grand theory. Middle range hypothesis are usually formulated by using theory development techniques in empirical research. These yield generic propositions regarding the social life, which can also be tested empirically. Examples of middle-range principles are hypothesis of social mobility, reference groups, normalization processes, social norm formation and role conflict. Robert’s approach has played a critical role in making sociology a key tool in various disciplines such as nursing (Smith & Liehr, 2014).


McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Smith, M. J., & Liehr, P. R. (2014). Middle range theory for nursing. New York: Springer.

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