SP Test # 1 Notes - Chapter 1 Introducing Sociology Society...

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Chapter 1: Introducing SociologySociety: the largest-scale human group, whose members interact with one another, share a common geographic territory, and share common institutionsFunctional Theory Views society as a set of interconnected parts that work together to preserve the overall stability and efficiency of the whole. oIndividual institutions all contribute to the functioning of society – Robert MertonSocial institutions perform both manifest (obvious) and latent (hidden) functions Latent functions considered latent because they are not the intended resultsEvery social institution has a purpose oChanges in one part of the society brings about changes in other parts Functionalists explain social problems by focusing on the failure of institutions to fulfill their roles during times of rapid change Anomie: lack of social norms; chaos; lawlessness; when social controls break downoTypical in times of rapid social change, in which social norms are weak or in conflict with one another The best way to deal with social problems is to strengthen social norms and slow the pace of social change Critical TheoryUnequal distribution of power – domination of one group by anotherViews society as a collection of varied groups that struggle with each other to dominate society and its institutions Marx attributed social problems to capitalism, not to industrialization and urbanization oCapitalist Society: a system in which a country’s industry are controlled by private owners for profitBourgeoisie:elite owners of the means of production ; use their power to ensure their dominance
Proletariat:working class, who sell their labour in exchange for wage oMarxists argue that social problems stem from the economic inequality of these two groups; the capitalist class works to prevent the proletariat from encroaching on bourgeois power oMarxist solution is to abolish the bourgeoisie and abolish class differences and private ownership of the means of productionWorkers should gain more control of their workplaces and receive wages that reflect the true value of their work Symbolic Interactionism Focuses on small-group interactions ; focuses on the glue that holds people together in social relationships Labelling theory any given social problem is viewed as such because an influential group of people defines it so. Herbert Blumer social problems develop in stages that include social recognition, social legitimating, mobilization for action, and development and implementation of an official plan Feminist TheoriesFocuses on inequality between men and women and how gender-based inequality makes women’s lives different from men’s Recent feminist scholarship has stressed the diversity of women’s experience as members of different nations, classes, and racial and ethnic groups.

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