SS2800 Ch 1 Summary.pdf - SS2800 Lecture Summary Chapter 1...

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Unformatted text preview: SS2800 Lecture Summary Chapter 1 Slide 1 This lecture covers the informa2on from Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspec2ve of the Macionis text. Slide 2 This chapter begins with some basic defini2ons, the first of which is sociology, or the “systema2c study of human society.” The sociological perspec2ve comes out of the study of sociology and involves the power of society to shape individual lives. Berger focused on paFerns of behavior and the overall no2on that our views and understanding of society shape what we think and do in paFerned ways in everyday life. When we study marginality and crisis, it is important that we understand the broader sociological forces that shape these phenomena. Slide 3 Marginality is the edge of society and looking at social crisis through the lens of sociology allows us to view personal problems as public issues. This is largely based upon the work of C. Wright Mills, who invented the term the “sociological imagina2on.” Slide 4 Studying sociology may lend to a global perspec2ve that increases global awareness, allowing us to beFer understand the broader world around us and our place in it. Slide 5 As we learn how to view the world in a sociological way, it is important that we understand the difference between high, middle, and low income na2ons. Slide 6 Addi2onally, we need to be able to compare the U.S. to other na2ons because our na2onality shapes the lives we lead, though we are increasingly interconnected to other na2ons. Understanding the U.S. in comparison to other na2ons, can also give us a fuller perspec2ve on social issues. Slide 7 As we approach applica2on of the sociological perspec2ve, it is important to note that sociology guides many of our laws and norms. Understanding this can lead to personal growth and awareness that may benefit us in the organiza2ons of which we are a part. Slide 8 Let’s look at the history of sociology. Sociology came out of the sociological condi2ons of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which included the rise of industrialism, rapid and increased growth of ci2es, and evolving aPtudes about democracy and jus2ce. Slide 9 To beFer understand these evolving aPtudes, we need to go back a bit further. During the middle ages, society was viewed as an expression of God’s will. From the late 16th century through the late 18th century, the aPtudes on this tradi2onal way of thinking began to change as people shiVed to thinking about personal liberty and individual rights. The French Revolu2on served as a catalyst that led to a greater break with poli2cs and social tradi2on. Some of the major thinkers and philosophers responsible for this change included Hobbes, Locke, Smith, and Tocqueville. Slide 10 As minds changed, so did the social reali2es of the day, including industrialism, the rapid expansion of large ci2es, and the new spirit of individualism. Early sociological theory and study came out of England, France, and Germany. Slide 11 That is not to say that sociological thinking merely sprang out of nowhere. Ancient civiliza2ons had an influence on the development of sociology as a discipline, par2cularly through the work of Fu-­‐tzu, Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle. The medieval period brought the work of Aurelius, Aquinas, Pisan, and Shakespeare. Slide 12 The actual term “sociology” was coined by Comte in 1838. Comte viewed the development of the discipline as evolving in three stages: theological, metaphysical, and scien2fic. Unlike those before him, Comte used a scien2fic approach to study society, which was referred to as “posi2vism.” Slide 13 It is important that we understand what a theory is: a theory is a statement of how and why specific facts are related. When we apply the theore2cal approach to sociology, we come up with a basic image of society that guides thinking and research. The three primary sociological theories we will study in this course are: structural-­‐func2onal, social-­‐conflict, and symbolic-­‐ interac2on. Slide 14 The structural-­‐func2onal approach, oVen referred to as “func2onalism,” is a macro-­‐level approach that views society as consis2ng of interrelated parts that promote solidarity and stability. Society is structured around these connected parts, which work together. The purpose of society is to perform manifest (primary) and latent (secondary) func2ons. Slide 15 The primary theorists of note in the func2onalist approach are: Comte, Durkheim, Spencer, and Merton. Comte primarily focused on social integra2on during 2mes of change. Durkheim helped to establish sociology as an official discipline. Spencer used the analogy of the human body to describe society, which works well with the func2onal approach. Merton introduced the concepts of manifest and latent func2ons to the study of society, and also introduced the concept of social dysfunc2ons. Slide 16 Overall, the func2onalist approach was the approach favored in the mid-­‐1900’s and is a somewhat conserva2ve approach that is less u2lized today. Let’s move on to the structural-­‐ conflict approach, or “conflict” theory. Slide 17 Keep in mind that the conflict approach isn’t about individual conflict, it’s about conflict as a societal phenomenon. The conflict approach sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change. So, while the func2onalist approach sees society as moving forward because of interrelated parts, much like gears in a machine, conflict theory sees society as moving forward because those parts oVen fail to work together. This approach includes gender-­‐conflict and race-­‐conflict theories. Slide 18 Overall, the conflict approach is another macro-­‐level approach looks at major cultural categories such as race/ethnicity, sex, class, age, etc. and how they are linked to social inequality. Social conflict arises when there are clashes between dominant groups and disadvantaged groups. This approach assumes that society is structured in a way that benefits those in dominant groups at the expense of those in disadvantaged groups. Slide 19 The major theorists of note in the conflict approach are Marx and DuBois. Marx focused on the importance of social class inequality, and argued that social change was born out of conflicts between those who owned the means of produc2on and the workers. DuBois focused on racial inequality as the major issue facing U.S. society. Slide 20 Let’s take a look a the gender-­‐conflict approach and feminism. The gender-­‐conflict approach focuses on the inequality between men and women in society as the major source of social inequity and change. Feminism, contrary to connota2ons that it is a belief that women should be superior, is the “advocacy of social equality for women and men,” and benefits both women and men. The major theorists in this approach are Marineau and Addams. Slide 21 The race-­‐conflict approach looks primarily at racial inequality as the basis for social conflict and impetus for social change. The major theorists here are BarneF and DuBois. Slide 22 The conflict approach has been cri2cized for having an overly-­‐nega2ve view of society, but has gained a larger following in recent decades. While the conflict approach does focus on inequality, it largely ignores how shared values and interdependence may unify society to move it forward. Cri2cs also claim that the conflict approach cannot claim the same level of scien2fic objec2vity of the func2onalist approach, since the conflict approach presupposes societal inequi2es and assumes that they have a nega2ve impact on society. Slide 23 The final approach we will look at is the symbolic interac2on approach, which is a micro-­‐level approach that views society as the product of everyday interac2ons of individuals. The key elements of this approach is that reality is constructed through everyday interac2ons (also known as social construc2on) and that society is complex and changing with social meanings that are subjec2ve (based on individual iden2ty and experiences). Slide 24 The primary theorists in they symbolic interac2on approach are Weber (pronounced Vay-­‐bur), Mead, Goffman, Homans, and Blau. Weber focused on understanding social sePngs or contexts based upon the interac2on of those within them. Mead focused on the development of personality, as influenced by social interac2on. Goffman focused on dramaturgy, or studying society as if it was a carefully scripted and staged play. Homans and Blau focused on social exchange, and how that moves society forward (or serves to block social evolu2on). Slide 25 As we apply the approaches, it is important to keep in mind that no single approach fully encompasses or accounts for all social condi2ons. Most modern theorists, while they may subscribe primarily to one of these three major theories, take a blended approach. ...
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  • Summer '16
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