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Student outline 2

Student outline 2 - Page 1 of 4 SOC 352 Outline for Chapter...

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Page 1 of 4 SOC 352 – Outline for Chapter 2 Scientific theory – an abstract explanatory scheme that is potentially open to disconfirmation by evidence Models – simplified theories shorn of much elaboration and detail Assumptions – beliefs about human nature and the human condition that are not testable in a strict scientific sense The meaning of “heuristic” – an “as if” device; useful metaphor or analogy to facilitate our understanding of social life without the model itself being true in any real sense Hypotheses – statements of relationships that can be examined empirically Levels of theory – 1. Macro theories: large scale structures and processes (societies, institutions, or general process such as conflict) 2. Middle-range theories: in between in terms of scope and abstractness (theories of organizations, revolutions) 3. Micro theories: small scale structures and processes (face to face interpersonal behavior or dynamics of small groups) Causes of change (2 general categories) – 1. Materialistic factors: economic production and technology 2. Idealistic factors: values, ideologies, beliefs Materialistic perspectives – 1. Karl Marx – argued that the forces of production are central in shaping society and social change. “forces of production”: primarily production technologies (windmills) which lead to the creation of certain “social relations of production” (relations between the feudal lord who owns the windmill and his serfs) 2. William Ogburn – wrote about the technological causes of social change in America. Argued that the advent of the automobile change American society in many ways: increasing geographic mobility, accelerating the growth of suburbs, changing courtship customs (removing from parents direct view) Cultural lag: source of tension since material culture (technology) changes more rapidly than nonmaterial aspects of culture (ideas, values, norms, ideologies)
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