2a Theory&methods.ppt

2a Theory&methods.ppt - Theoretical Perspectives...

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Unformatted text preview: Theoretical Perspectives Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology in Sociology 1. 1. Help us formulate research questions and collect Help us formulate research questions and collect appropriate data to answer our questions. appropriate data to answer our questions. 2. 2. Help us make sense of our findings. Help us make sense of our findings. 3. 3. Help us weave our observations into sociological Help us weave our observations into sociological understanding. understanding. Social Theory Social Theory • THEORY: ideas about how societies operate and how people relate to each other and respond to their environment • PARADIGM: dominant, widely accepted, theories Our different experiences influence our assumptions and opinions about social issues, yielding different theories. There are 3 major theories in Sociology. First, STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM often called “functionalism” • macro theoretical paradigm that looks for a social structure’s* “social functions” or consequences • sees society as a complex system with many interdependent parts • parts work together to promote social stability, cohesion, and order • system seeks to maintain its equilibrium • change results from a gradual adjustment to emergence of disorganization or change in some other area • Organic metaphor based on biology * Remember: Social structure is any relatively stable pattern of social behavior. It includes everything from institutions such as democracy or Catholicism and groups such as a fraternity or a stream of immigrants to patterns of social interaction such as discrimination. STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM KEY ELEMENTS : – Social Structure Social Structure • relatively stable patterns of social behavior embodied in social institutions, roles, groups, social interaction – Social Function Social Function • consequences of a social structure/pattern for society – Manifest--obvious, intended, overt function » College develops skills for jobs – Latent--unintended side effect » College creates a marriage market – Social Dysfunctions--negative functions STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM Example : – Social Structure Social Structure • 1965 Family Reunion Act opened U.S. door to immigration from Latin America, Asia, and Africa that had been closed for about 75 years – Social Function Social Function • Manifest functions – Reunite families separated by our national border • Latent functions – Legal immigration climbed to an average of 1 million/year – Immigrants are changing the U.S.’s race/ethnic composition – Immigrants keep our fertility higher and our population younger compared to Europe or Japan – Social Dysfunctions (negative manifest & latent functions) – Followed by a tidal wave of illegal immigration – Depresses wages, especially for low skill jobs STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM Criticisms – Conservative defense of existing social structure Conservative defense of existing social structure – Assumes that all aspects of social structure exist because...
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Sullivan during the Spring '08 term at ASU.

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2a Theory&methods.ppt - Theoretical Perspectives...

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