Chapter 2 - Chapter2:SociologyTheories Chapter Objectives:...

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Chapter 2: Sociology Theories Chapter Objectives: by working on the exercises, students should be able to use the theories to explain social phenomena and understand social issues, media information and views from ifferent theoretical perspectives. Topic Outline 1. three theoretical perspectives 2. Basic arguments about the image of society 3. on social problems 4. on social change change. 5. key theorists and their contribution Summary of the basics 1. The three theoretical perspectives in sociology are: Functionalism (or structural functionalism) Conflict theory Symbolic Interactionism The three theoretical paradigms offer different view on human social organizations because they look at society from different level and perspective: Functionalist theory looks at society from Macro level: view from higher level, at a distance, focus on the order of society. Conflict theory looks at society from Macro level too, but focuses on social change. Symbolic interactionism look at society from Micro level: view from close range observation, study human interaction and how people construct meaning in interaction process. 2. Image of society : Functionalist theory : Society is a whole unit like a human body, made up of interrelated parts that perform different functions to meet society’s survival needs. Conflict theory : Society is like a ±attlefield, composed of groups competing against each other for domination of resources. Society is always characterized by inequality with some benefits more than others Symbolic Interactionism : Society is an ongoing process of
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interaction based on symbolic communication. The basis of society is symbols that people use to establish meaning, develop their attitudes and beliefs, and interact accordingly. View of society: Functionalist theory : Society operates based on the consensus of values, ideas, interrelated, interdependent parts function, cooperate to maintain the order or equilibrium of society. Conflict theory : Society operates based on competition, conflict between groups. Order is based on domination, exploitation of one by the other Symbolic Interactionism : Human social behavior depends on the ways we define ourselves and others, society is a construction of people’s mind. 3. Explain social change Functionalist theory : Social changes: as one part of society changes, other parts change to adapt to adjust to maintain balance Conflict theory : The opposing interests of different groups would lead to continuous conflict and continual social change Symbolic Interactionism : if meanings of symbols change, behaviors change too. 4. Explain social problems in different terms Functionalist theory : Social systems sometimes get disorganized/ disintegrated; Parts of society sometimes do not function well (deficient and inefficient); Social institutions sometimes produce negative consequences ( dysfunctions ) which cause problems to occur. Conflict theory
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Chapter 2 - Chapter2:SociologyTheories Chapter Objectives:...

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