meaningful understanding and explanation

meaningful understanding and explanation

the comprehension of SOCIAL ACTORS’ meanings (i.e. their beliefs, motives, purposes, reasons, etc. in any social context) which at one and the same time automatically constitute an explanation of their ACTIONS and of the social occurrences to which these give rise. See also VERSTEHEN, MEANINGFUL SOCIOLOGY, WEBER, WINCH, PURPOSIVE EXPLANATION, EMPATHY, INTERPRETATION, INTERPRETATIVE SOCIOLOGY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000