In 1995 sociologist J. Richard Udry wrote an article entitled, "Sociology and Biology: What Biology do Sociologists need to Know?" Although Udry's article represents an important early step in the development of the biosocial perspective, the full impact of his thesis is blunted by the fact that he fails to discuss in sufficient detail the mechanisms underlying the biosocial relationships he identifies. Nor, for that matter, does Udry provide a sufficient metatheoretical/metamethodological explanation for how biological data can and should be incorporated into existing social science theory and research. Finally, and of no fault of his own, Udry's article was published a few years before several extremely important discoveries regarding the neurological foundations of many psycho-sociological processes fundamental to micro-sociological theory. This dissertation is intended to serve as a follow-up to Udry's (1995) original essay in that it seeks to overcome the above limitations by both broadening and deepening the scope of the `biology that sociology needs to know," as well as articulating a framework for how said insights can be incorporated into sociological research.
The integrated meta-framework developed here is designed to create two sets of analytical tools to guide the construction of biosocial theory and to carry out biosocial research. The first of these are the taken-for-granted substantive positions provided by the life sciences regarding the biological mechanisms underlying how the `body' generates `mind', as well as the substantive questions every biosocial theory must answer. The second set of analytical tools contains the substantive and methodological working strategies that provide the conceptual definitions, operational definitions, scope conditions, and empirical referents that serve as the building blocks for biosocial theories. Moreover, the biosocial meta-framework also specifies two sets of analytical processes for creating the above tools. The first of these sets specified how to transform one or more discursive social theories into a format that is conducive to the integration of biological data. The second set, in turn, specified how to gather biological data about a psycho-social process and then integrate it into a social theory.