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.