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A recent summary of the reemergence of the dialectic in sociology is to be found in Louis Schneider. The seven meaning-clusters for the term are as follows:

  • A discrepancy between aim or intention and outcome
  • Goal shifts and displacements (heterogeny of ends or functional autonomy)
  • The idea that effective adaptations to a situation stand in the way of future progress, "success brings failure"
  • Development through conflict
  • Contradiction, opposition, or paradox
  • Contradictory emotions
  • Conflict dissolved in a coalescence of opposites.

- Louis Schneider, "Dialectic in Sociology," American Sociological Review 36 (August 1971), pp. 667-678.

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