This chapter describes some of the complexities of a discipline which serves acceptance and rejection of knowledge, complexities which threaten to destroy sociology as a coherent form of knowledge with a distinctive type of content and with an object of study which is significant in society's own terms. Sociology has an institutional existence, primarily within education and research organizations, which attempts to control standards of acceptability and the forms of that thought. The most important developments within sociology have recently seemed to come from debates about theory and meta-theory. The most publicized versions of new critical, materialist and phenomenological sociologies seem, on reflection, to fail to solve disagreements about relativism and the nature of social intervention. The state, for instance, is said to use academic pluralism to mask its underlying manipulative theoretical concerns, and public policy and social control are founded upon only particular dominant theoretical perspectives.