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Understanding social upheavals: beyond conspiracy theories


Kalinga Tudor Silva

Department of Sociology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Sociological explanations frequently serve as a counter point to popular conspiracy theories. Historically, sociology evolved as a subject that tried to prove that social reality cannot be reduced to the separate actions of the individuals who make up that society, such individual motivations or what was understood as the standard way persons think and behave in given situations being the dominant analytical frameworks in other social sciences like economics, psychology, and political science. A key founder of sociology, Frenchman Emile Durkheim tried to  identify the social as external to and in some ways imposed from outside upon the individuals who are included in the social reality. In his unique way, he demonstrated the validity of the social by explaining how even a deeply personal and emotional matter such as suicide must be seen as a socially determined phenomenon. Of course,these views have been interrogated by many critics over the years for his single-minded preoccupation with the social by deemphasizing its natural linkages with the psychological and for his denial of the agency of human beings.

How to Cite: Silva, K.T., 2023. Understanding social upheavals: beyond conspiracy theories. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 45(2), pp.93–95. DOI:
Published on 27 Apr 2023.


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