soc. 102 notes

soc. 102 notes - Soc. 102- Contemporary Social Theory Lec....

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Soc. 102- Contemporary Social Theory Lec. 1 I. Overview II. What is Theory? III. Theory and Metatheory IV. How to Read Theory- 3 tips V. Epistemology and Methodology 1. Objectivism and Subjectivism 2. Macro-analysis and micro-analysis VI. A Grant of Theoretical Possibilities VII. Conclusion thinker/movement oriented- not topic oriented theory- ordered set of propositions that seek to simplify the world in order to account for a particular aspect of it the primacy of theory- only on a basis of a particular can pertinant observation be made (in social science metatheory contained in theory- general framework for measuring and observing the world metatheory- theory about what is theoretically appropriate social sciences methodology- prescriptions concerning appropriate level of analysis epistemology- appropriate manner in which to understand (study of knowledge) Reading theory: 1. ask questions 2. take your time 3. use a unifying theme (importance of metatheory) Tendencies of subjectivism and objectivism objectivism- approach to human behavior which seeks to explain from the outside in by pointing to mind independent and agent independent mechanisms that might be at work material concerns of existence are outside of consciousness and will subjectivism- approach to human behavior which seeks to explain from the inside out by pointing to mind/agent dependent mechanisms that might be at work conceptions/ideas/beliefs; only from experience In social science, object is a SUBJECT introduction of subjectivism social scientists are indirectly studying themselves Methodological (levels of analysis) Macro level (collective) v. Micro level (small) Lec. 2 Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) The Structure of Social Action (1937) role of volunteerism in everyday life develop a theory of action that would do justice to the role of choices and patterns of
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behavior The Social System (1951) 3 concerns about theory of action 1. problem of motivation 2. coordination of action 3. systemeticity Parsons and the Problem of Order 1. Talcott Parsons: An Introduction 2. Hobbes and the Problem of Order 3. Solutions 1. Coercive 2. Normative 3. Exchange-based 4. The Place of “Ultimate Values” in Sociological Theory 1. The Means-End Schema 2. The Common System of Ultimate Ends 5. Structural Functionalism 1. The Social System 2. Functional Imperatives: AGIL Why is there order and not rather chaos? Maintenance of social life Hobbes- foundations of establishment of authority and government state of nature absence of established authority equality of ability hope to an ends, not backing down from confrontation scarcity of means with respect to wants men use men as another means to an end war of all against all no concept of justice, private property “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” --primary means to an end: force and fraud realize collectively that in best interests for some treaties of peace give up freedoms to a sovereign authority with exclusivity of force utilitarianism- rationally motivated
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course SOC 102 taught by Professor Brubaker during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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soc. 102 notes - Soc. 102- Contemporary Social Theory Lec....

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