SOC103H1 - Lecture & Study Guide - SOC103H1 1 Functionalism...

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SOC103H1 - 107/01/14Functionalism: everything in society serves a purposeConflict Theory: conflict between groups.Symbolic Interactionist: interactions between people. Social InstitutionsSocial institutions: the complex social formsthat reproduce themselves as government, family, language, universities, hospitals, corporation etc. Typically institutions are in place to meet society’s most important needs; order support and meaning. Institutions cannot exist with social interaction: a socially recognized pattern of inter-related acts (conversations, dating rituals etc.). Social institutions ARE social structures; they control, change, and are capable of both resisting and producing social change. Sociology(i) Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society (Oxford Dictionary).(ii) Sociologyis the division of science concerned with human beings (Auguste Comte).(iii) Sociology is the study of predictable and recurring relations among human beings, and the socialinstitutions and the societies people create through such relations (contemporary definition). Two social crises were especially important for the early development of sociology:(i) The Industrial Revolution: forced individuals into new economic relationships. (ii) The French Revolution: forced individuals into new political relationships. Sociology today incorporates multiple narratives and perspectives that often conflict. There are three aims of sociology:(i) To find and explain patterns in people’s social relations.(ii) To question “common sense” and the received wisdom about the way society works. (iii) To solve social problems and find better ways of living together. Features of sociology:(i) It is applicable world-wide. (ii) It is oriented towards studying and solving peoples problems. (iii) It is timely; concerned about contemporary issues. (iv) It is rootedin research and credible findings. (v) It is theoretical(hypothesis testing). (vi) It is empirical; uses data and standard measures to test hypotheses. (vii) It is incremental; it contributes to a body of knowledge. (viii) It is open-ended; there are always unanswered questions. (ix) It is connectedto other disciplines – psychology, political science, history, geography etc.Platoenvisioned the perfect society in the Republic; vaguely sociological. Approaches:
SOC103H1 - 2(i) Multiple paradigm approach: multiple models.(ii) Fusion approach: there is an agreed above body of sociological research. Epistemological approach: we cannot view the world objectively (outside our own perspective). Sociology often begins with important comparisons (Herodotus: differences between Egyptians, Greeks and Persians; Voltaire: differences between English Protestants and French Catholics).

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