Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3- Science and Fuzzy Objects
o Sociologists cannot make predictions with absolute certainty. However, sociology is based in scientific methods and is still considered as science. o Society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals o Focuses on patterns of social interaction in specific settings o Key figures-George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, George Homans, Peter Blau Divisions in Sociology What sociologists study Theoretical paradigms Level of analysis Level of Analysis
o Microsociology Sociological Theory o What is theory? Statement of how and why specific facts are related o Goal of sociological theory Explain social behavior in the real world o Theoretical Paradigms Set of assumptions that guide thinking and research o Macrosociology Focus on interaction of individuals Context of those interactions Symbolic Interactionism Focus on broader social phenomena Whole social structures, systems, and institutions Functionalism Conflict Theory Which Paradigm is Correct? Functionalist Paradigm o A view of society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity o Consensus on values and norms o Integrated parts o Seeks stability and avoids conflict o Social structures o Social functions Manifest functions Latent functions Social dysfunctions o Key figures Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton o All offer valuable insight into society o Depends on what aspects of society are seen as more important o How would each paradigm explain some of these topics? Sociology of sports Family Deviance Sexuality Sociology of Sports
o Functionalism o Conflict Ways sports help society operate Conflict Paradigm o Society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change o Conflicting values o Competition for scarce resources o Conflict is a normal part of society o Social patterns do not benefit all o Conflict between dominant and disadvantaged groups o Key figures-Karl Marx, W. E. B. Du Bois Sports are closely linked to social inequality o Symbolic Interactionist Sports less as a system and more as an ongoing process Family Symbolic Interactionist Paradigm o Social constructionists Construct own social worlds o Use of symbols to make sense of our surroundings o How we act depends on how we see reality o Influence of others on our view of reality o Interpret own behavior and behavior of others o Attach meanings to behaviors o Functionalism (Functions of the family) Socialization Regulation of sexual activity (incest taboo) Social placement Material and emotional security o Conflict Promotes inequality Inheritance of property through the family perpetuates class inequalities Family is generally patriarchal, promoting gender inequality Endogamous marriage promotes racial and ethnic inequality o Symbolic Interactionist As families share activities, they build emotional ties. Family life as a social exchange Deviance o Functionalism (Functions of deviance) Affirms cultural values Clarifies moral boundaries Promotes social unity Encourages social change o Conflict (Deviance and capitalism) Norms of society generally reflect the interests of the rich and powerful. Powerful have resources to resist deviant labeling. Laws may be inherently unfair. o Symbolic Interactionist Result of how others respond to acts If you see yourself as deviant The Empirical World and Inconvenient Facts
o Empirical Things that can be observe through the use of one's physical senses o Inconvenient Facts Max Weber Evidence that contradicts what you have always believed Duty of sociologists to deal with inconvenient facts Difference between ideal world and real world Chapter 4- Who's Afraid of Sociology? Sexuality o Functionalism o Conflict Regulate sexuality Latent functions - prostitution Reflecting social inequality Equal economic opportunities Creating social inequality Defining in sexual terms o Symbolic Interactionist Social construction of sexuality Patterns change over time Global comparisons Ethnocentrism o Tendency to make value judgments o Tendency to see different as inferior o Judging other people, customs, and norms as inferior to your own Positive side- Brings people of the same culture together Negative side- Prejudice and discrimination
o Encountering customs that are different than our own o Being in a different culture and feeling disorientated Cultural Relativism o Belief that other people and their ways of doing things can only be understood in terms of their cultural context o To understand people's behaviors, we have to look at their culture o Being objective and understanding other ways of life ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2008 for the course SOC 202 taught by Professor Xiauqinwuturner during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.
- Spring '08